Charter Plane Brings In Fibre Network Specialists

January 22, 2017 | 90 Comments

Following the arrival of a charter plane last night [Jan 21] carrying approximately 75 people, the Ministry of Home Affairs confirmed that Digicel applied for “just over 80 short-term permits, with a maximum number not to exceed 85, for a maximum period of 6 months with no renewal or long-term application being permitted.”

The Ministry noted, “Digicel is committed to ensuring that the requisite training for ongoing upkeep of this system by Bermudians is in place thereby creating sustainability for the 30 or more new jobs to come, and to work alongside the 28 Bermudians that they already have hired since their acquisition of BTC.”

Digicel noted that the “construction of a fiber network is the latest phase in Digicel’s plans to invest millions of dollars in Bermuda,” adding that “these upgrades will not only transform the current internet environment dramatically while creating Bermudian jobs but will also ensure Bermuda becomes a magnet for international investment and tourism.”

IMG_2126

The ‘Albatros Airlines’ flight landed at the airport on Saturday evening, with officials confirming to Bernews that it was a chartered flight with 75 arriving passengers onboard.

After the flight landed, the passengers, which were mostly younger males, got off and were transported away from the airport in minibuses.

IMG_2133 (2)

Ministry of Home Affairs Statement

We asked Government for comment, and they said that in response to media queries “regarding overseas Digicel workers arriving in Bermuda last night,” the Ministry of Home Affairs said, “The Department of Immigration has been working with Digicel in order to ensure that their enhanced infrastructure build is completed as expeditiously as possible, with a view to enabling more Bermudian jobs in the next two to three months.

“This has been accomplished by the application by Digicel for the issue of just over 80 Short-term permits, with a maximum number not to exceed 85, for a maximum period of 6 months with no renewal or long-term application being permitted.

“Digicel was unable to fill these positions with Bermudians, as the level required for this project needs specialists in a new brand of fibre technology.

“Digicel is committed to ensuring that the requisite training for ongoing upkeep of this system by Bermudians is in place thereby creating sustainability for the 30 or more new jobs to come, and to work alongside the 28 Bermudians that they already have hired since their acquisition of BTC.”

Digicel Statement

Robin Seale, CEO of Digicel Bermuda & BTC, said, “As part of its ongoing plan to transform Bermuda’s telecommunications services , increase Bermudian job opportunities and enable Bermuda to compete globally Digicel Bermuda has announced the start of an island wide network upgrade of the company’s physical network.

“The construction of a fiber network is the latest phase in Digicel’s plans to invest millions of dollars in Bermuda.

“The Digicel Bermuda group of companies, which includes BTC, Digicel and Transact, has engaged specialist fiber contractors for a fixed period to build and install a world class fiber network which the Bermuda Group will maintain and operate after completion of the build.

“The Company has been busy planning and preparing for the investment in Bermuda for more than a year. It has created 28 new jobs since purchasing BTC in June 2015 and is currently advertising for more positions that will work on the new network.

“These upgrades will not only transform the current internet environment dramatically while creating Bermudian jobs but will also ensure Bermuda becomes a magnet for international investment and tourism.”

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  1. Archy says:

    Right and this was all advertised? Job adverts went out? An rfp was published?

    • Warwick Boy says:

      Why would an rfp be required? Digicel is a private company. How they choose to operate and upgrade their network is their choice, yes? I can’t imagine they brought in a plane load of technicians without getting approval from the appropriate government authorities – it would be pretty foolish if they hadn’t done so since they had to get past a team of immigration officials to gain entry.

      • Madog says:

        80 jobs and not one of the jobs advertised
        OBA are a bunch of hypocrites!!!!!

        Rev Tweed you will win your right to be in Bermuda with your Daughter after this one!!!!

        • Michael w says:

          why is TWEED a fibre expert??????

          • Say Whaat? says:

            Tweed had a specialized position, just like these workers. Not just any one can be a pastor of a congregation.

            • Sorry Sir says:

              Isn’t there a Bermudian with the same certification?

            • Longtail says:

              That is rubbish…. I know one American ‘pastor’ who was here for some years before his local church realized that he had no credentials and gave him the boot….. a con artist ‘preacher’ who had a church group tithing to him! There are rotten apples in any bunch of people, including pastors.

            • Sickofantz says:

              Can Bermuda not produce it’s own pastors?

            • 32n64w says:

              10 of the 11 other AME churches have Bermudian pastors so yes, there are qualified local candidates.

        • hmmm says:

          Take it up with Digicel…Stop making it political

          exemptions to the requirement for advertising for a short term work permit – https://www.gov.bm/online-services/get-short-term-work-permit. I suspect that this falls under – “hire a specialised technician for the purpose of maintaining equipment under contract; providing repairs to pipe organs; installing an upgrade of the business’ computer software; servicing inter-company communications networks”.

        • enough says:

          Before you sprout off do your homework, they are not permanent jobs they are for 6 months only and cannot be renewed, please read before you make comments. A totally different situation to Rev. Tweed.

    • Kangoocar says:

      Why don’t you ask your plp and BIU all about this? They actually were consulted and didn’t have a problem with it! They just chose to not mention this, I wonder why?

      • Sick & Tired says:

        Did you see the advertisement in the newspaper for these positions to ensur that there are no qualified bermudians available?

        • Truth says:

          Qualified Bermudians for the jobs? You mean the ones that studied advance Fibre Technology at umm, umm…..where would that be now?? Bermy College?

          Stop being idiots. You all know there are not qualified Bermudians to do every job. Get the heck over yourselves and stop being difficult children.

          BTW, I heard there is going to be an opening for a Nuclear Physicist with Radio Active experience on-island soon. Make sure you all get your CVs ready to apply.

          #idiots.

          • Serious Though says:

            @Truth you will be surprised how many qualified Bermuda have CV’s for certain jobs in Bermuda, understand the bitter truth…

            • enough says:

              yes they do and I work with some, one in particular who has been training under a foreigner for years but only when they feel like it, comes into work at about 9:15 / 9:30 every day, takes two hours for lunch almost every day and leaves right at 5, so you wonder why the foreign worker who is in on time works sometimes right through and then leaves after 5/ 5:30 get the job. Obvious to me

          • Wayne W says:

            Idiots?…well you NEED to know that there ARE Bermudians qualified and experienced in this field…so stop making excuses!!

            • wondering says:

              80 of them???????????????

            • A few scoops of truth says:

              Fair enough. There may well be Bermudians qualified and experienced in the field. Maybe these are needed in addition to the qualified Bermudians in order to fill a short term need.

              Similar to bringing down claims adjusters after the hurricanes to help speed up the processing of claims.

          • This bie says:

            I hold almost every single qualification and cert for fiber optics and have over a decade experience in it. I have a job tho so this doesn’t even phase me. But I just wanted to let you know bermudians are fully capable of the task

          • Bermygirl31 says:

            Hahahahahaha!!! Brilliant!

      • mixitup says:

        Kangoocar – so 16 believe you…lol, your sheep are that easy?..lol

        • Kangoocar says:

          Why don’t you do a little research yourself? I can’t wait to see the egg all over your face! I can only guess how mortified you will be once you see how correct I am! LOL

    • Navin Johnson says:

      Oh please…like 85 fiber optic technicians are here in Bermuda……all for anything that improves the quality of service in Bermuda…

      • Unbelievable says:

        This is unbelievable, yes of course this is construction workers and fiber optic splicers. There are plenty of these in Bermuda Digicel just didn’t want to pay.

        • Truth says:

          Yet you believe that Digicel wants to pay the high cost of bringing in foreigners to do the job? Do you people not understand that it would be MUCH EASIER AND CHEAPER to hire locals than pay Expats the high salaries that they demand for their specialties? Are you all really that daft? It costs LOTS of money to hire foreign work! If Bermudians could perform the jobs (every day, on time EVERY day, until 5pm every day, limited sick days….) it would be MUCH EASIER, QUICKER and CHEAPER to hire locals.

          Can people really be this stupid?

      • mixitup says:

        All for Anything? Not one question/quiery of whether Bermudians were overlooked? You people cease to amaze me… But then again you don’t.

    • Catherine Dalziel says:

      There are extensive exemptions to the requirement for advertising for a short term work permit – https://www.gov.bm/online-services/get-short-term-work-permit. I suspect that this falls under – “hire a specialised technician for the purpose of maintaining equipment under contract; providing repairs to pipe organs; installing an upgrade of the business’ computer software; servicing inter-company communications networks”.

      • Truth says:

        Thank you! Enough said. End of story unless people still want to be difficult children about this.

  2. Vote for Me says:

    It would be interesting to know what specialist knowledge and skills are required is required for the new fibre network.

    How was it confirmed that no Bermudians were qualified to do the work? Remember there are Bermudians both resident in Bermuda and living overseas.

    According to recent Ministerial statements, the rules are followed for everyone and introducing special rules for one will create chaos!
    e

    • chrimbow says:

      As an IT professional, trust me, Bermuda does not have the skilled laborers in large enough numbers to get the work done in any reasonable amount of time. Bermuda just isn’t large enough to support those types of specialized workers on a full time basis.

      • 747 Airbus 380 says:

        agreed just typical moaners that haven’t a clue. plus the guys might WORK and TEACH a local a few things

        • VJ says:

          See, that’s the problem. Bermudians DO work, every single day!!! You are spreading that stereotypical myth that Bermudians are lazy, which is totally untrue.

          • Vote for Me says:

            My question is not whether Bermuda has 80 specialist fibre technicians. Instead, do we have any that could have been employed.

            Bermuda probably does not have 80 persons in any given category that are readily employed for a 6 month project.

          • Earth watch police says:

            Most Bermudians work hard some are lazy just like in any other country so what the #u@k are we supposed to do .

        • mixitup says:

          ‘Typical moaner?’ you mean the people who want to assure that their fellow countrymen were not overlooked? And you wonder why their is a serious divide in this country.. Are you Bermudian? I’m Bermudian and would like to be assured that due dilligence was done to ensure that any qualified Bermudian looking for work in this area was not overlooked, if you don’t like that then get lost!

      • Unbelievable says:

        As another IT worker, trust me it does. Fiber optic work is done by CCS, FNC, SwitchWorx and a host of other smaller customers. The main work for Fiber is just Construction.

        Do we have any construction crews out of work. Nah.

        Digicel just wanted to bring in _Cheap_ labour. Why should they be allowed to do it?

        I got friends out of work right now.

        • Y-Gurl says:

          Dufus I don’t think they are all “construction workers”

          • Wayne Wonders says:

            Well Dufette, if the fiber optic lines have to be installed whether overhead or underground…THAT IS CONSTRUCTION!!

            Now with that clear, the above mentioned companies CAN perform the termination (which includes fiber optic splicing)…..understand??

        • Dude says:

          As a IT Professional with 20+ yrs experience in corporate and enterprise environments, I can definitely say that CCS, FNC, Switchworx and various other fiber vendors here do not have the expertise or experience or man power to implement a solid and reliable network project of this size. Tech’s with this amount of experience and training is something that you can’t just hire off the street and would need years of fiber experience to be a subject matter expert or tech, this is something that not allot of local techs (Bermudian or expat) would have as BDA is still new to wide scale fiber networks.

          I would think that if a company is spending 100′s of millions of dollars on a project that is bread and butter they would want it done correctly and with techs that have had the experience with these kind of projects.

          • James says:

            Who do you think built the fibre ring around Hamilton and out to both ends of the island that has worked well for nearly 20 years? FNC as far as I know.
            I cant see 80 people doing the technical stuff. I can see 80 guys pulling cables through conduit that anyone can do. Only the ends are technical and it is not that hard I have done it.

  3. TimBuc says:

    Sounds like beefing up cyber security for all the AC heavy hitters coming here. No brainer here

  4. Truth is killin' me... says:

    My fellow Bermudians. The BIU has warped the rules and has sided with Tweed. Now the flood gates have opened and jobs for Bermudians are but a dream thanks to Chris Furbert and Co. See if you even get a peep from him on this and Digicel’s actions?

    • Say Whaat? says:

      Shut up. The union did nothing that changed laws with immigration.

      • 32n64w says:

        The unions had a seat at the table and provided input on the 2014 immigration policies.

  5. Riley says:

    Another great gesture by Digicel founder/owner Denis O’Brien. A name worth Googling along with Esat and Moriarity. We really do,attract the very best to our shores.

  6. Tyrone says:

    This is fantastic for Bermuda! Finally a network we can be proud of, my cous works for BTC and this has been in the pipeline since Digicel bought them. Let’s hope they fix my tv too!!!

  7. Janae says:

    Digicel was right to bring in specialists to complete the installs as currently no network of this degree exists in bermuda, so I don’t understand why you think Bermudian would have that expertise. Would you not rather have someone build a solid network and then have Bermudians maintain it after? Well done Digicel, can’t wait for the new network!

    • Unbelievable says:

      Because it is just splicing and construction. The splicers are skillers and we got lots of them. The construction workers are just construction people you can train.

      No other Bermuda company gets to do this… What if everytime we built a building we brought in Canadians….

      • Truth says:

        Yet when I beg BTC to work on my home they INSIST they have to drape lines all over the outside of my house and along my driveway. “Are you serious,” I ask. “Yep, that’s how we do it”. And you want to give these guys fibre optic lines to work with?
        Get real.

      • Earth watch police says:

        Sounds like a perfect opportunity for you to buy some trucks hire all of these local splicers and help the community by providing jobs.

  8. Brian says:

    I think they would actually need staff that would show up each day and not take the weekend off marching for foreigners work permits

    • Sick & Tired says:

      Would that staff include all Bermudians??? Or do you specific Bermudians in mind?

    • VJ says:

      I guess that includes you then, or are you not a Bermudian?

    • Say Whaat? says:

      Taking the weekend off after working 5 days is a bad thing? Man, you lot are working hard to bring back slavery, ain’t you?

    • Bermycakes says:

      Actually, we never need to worry about workers taking the weekend off to march—they save their weekends for relaxing.
      They prefer to do their marching on weekDAYS—that way everyone else is inconvenienced while their own weekends aren’t ruined.

  9. frank says:

    The fiber that they are installing is a new type of fiber that is not presently in bermuda
    Let’s hope Bermudians get some jobs in the 6 months that
    They are here.
    Well done digital can*t wait to dump cable vision

  10. Time Shall Tell says:

    Digicel is a business, this means the extent of their concern is as far as their profits can carry. You don’t like what they doing? Well than you know exactly how to send the message of your displeasure, do business elsewhere. Be sure to have as many friends and family that feel the same as you to follow suit.. But this won’t happen, two weeks time from now this will be nothing more than a past issue to grumble about.. & this is why this sort of thing continues to happen.. March all you want, chant all you want. As long as they still making profits your doing nothing but wasting time.

  11. Catherine Dalziel says:

    There are extensive exemptions to the requirement for advertising for a short term work permit – https://www.gov.bm/online-services/get-short-term-work-permit. I suspect that this falls under – “hire a specialised technician for the purpose of maintaining equipment under contract; providing repairs to pipe organs; installing an upgrade of the business’ computer software; servicing inter-company communications networks”.

  12. mixitup says:

    Lovely Digicel – I’m sure that statement was prepared weeks ago…. Question though, how much are you paying these Guatemalans & Mexicans, I’m sure its not what you would pay a Local doing the same job hence the reason.

    • Whistling Frog says:

      Someone’s always wanting to know what someone else is paying for something. The matter of the fact is, this was well overdue and the job is getting done. I am sure everyone would love to pay for great quality work at a cheaper rate. But that’s not the case in Bermuda.

  13. who cares most says:

    We should be un tune with whats going on in our Island.
    Here again this is with keeping up with AC.
    6 months ensures that AC is covered beyond the period so as to make Digicel the number one carrier over AC.
    Why didn’t Digicel send techs away last year after the first trial on the network needs.
    These techs are they going to train the present staff do they close the network after AC.
    The Ministers of Immigration and Technology need to reassure the public that these techs will pass on the knowledge to Bermudians so we can ensure Digicels customers get the best possible value for dollar

  14. legalgal says:

    Well done Digicel. No local politicking. Not that your pricing will be competitive sadly. Just get the job done. Now can we let in other major international retailers so we aren’t held hostage by the local interests of a few.

  15. Common cent$ says:

    I guess not too many people actually retained the full article- alongside 28 Bermudians already hired….

  16. Y-Gurl says:

    Digitizing Bermuda, thanks Digicel BTC your about to do what all the others only promised

  17. Myboy14 says:

    No wonder Digcel has 6 billion dollars of debt and rising.

  18. aceboy says:

    The Union probably said “ok” but no doubt their stance will *evolve* into a protest about it.

    The PLP will certainly have something to say.

    It will all be about importation of foreign workers and taking Bermudian jobs.

    Let the games begin.

  19. Cranberry says:

    Price reductions…?? Bet prices will only go up… looks like the begining of a monopoly. ..

    • john says:

      how is it a monopoly when one communication already has the same setup?

      • Just the Tip says:

        the correct term I think John should use is duopoly. Which sucks just as much as a monopoly in my view.

  20. Hubert W says:

    Please read.
    These people are coming here to improve our internet service to help us and our international business.
    The Govenment, opposition, unions and others were all spoken to.
    These are very short term permits 2, 3 moth permits.
    This is not someone who lied on their application and wants to stay here, the weather in England sucks.

    • So Tired says:

      You sure about that @Hubert W? Or will those permits be rolled over for 25 years?? We’ve all had a taste of that!

  21. Terry says:

    “Albatros”

    Irony.

  22. bermy says:

    mean while ONE has Bermudians doing the same job (minus 4 workers)

  23. UmJustSaying says:

    BTC upgraded their infer structure several times over the years. Initially guest workers where bought in. They taught us a lot of technics and procedures which we would use for future upgrades. As BTC progressed less, guest workers where bought in because we, Bermudians did the ground work leading up to new installations. The color code never changes. For those involved have fun learning to ride a FIBRE bike instead of that old s l o w Coppper one.

  24. swing voter says:

    I bet there are 10 specialists and yes there may be a need for them to get the job done in a hurry before the 20M tourists arrive in April for AC35. the other 70 guys are labor costs saving workers

  25. Just checkin' says:

    What concerns me is that these technicians have come from somewhere south and may
    have been subjected to Zika carrying mosquitos. Does anyone know exactly where they all come from and whether any of them may be carrying the Zika virus. As a prospective grandmother I am very concerned about this.

    • What?? says:

      Don’t you mean as a xenophobe you are very concerned about this. We have visitors and locals traveling to and from areas with Zika every day.

    • wondering says:

      maybe you should ask all the Bermudians who travel to the same region and return home

  26. Unbelievable says:

    You lot are a bunch of cry babies always looking for something.

    Like there is an over-abundance of Bermudians who are fiber network specialists. Oh dear.

  27. Terry says:

    Never read so much bullsheet on one topic.
    All the negative and stupid crap about so many Bermudians with this training.
    Are they employed?
    Where are they employed.
    How many are sitting on walls.
    How many have gone to the head office today and asked why they were not contacted.
    How many of your brothers, sisters, cousins, Fathers Mothers have you called to let them know that all these people just got off a plane and your concerned.

    I give up.
    Shalom.

  28. bluwater says:

    <>

    Read the d@mn article.

  29. mixitup says:

    I love this line….’the Ministry of Home Affairs said, “The Department of Immigration has been working with Digicel in order to ensure that their enhanced infrastructure build is completed as expeditiously as possible, with a view to enabling more Bermudian jobs in the next two to three months.’

    We are still waiting on the 2000 jobs promised by your Govt! Now we are to beleive you are majically gonna enable more in the next few months? Is this your sing along line? Keep people hoping, I read this somewhere before as a tactic to ‘get over on the people’ Bermudians are not as dumb as you think and your time in Gov’t MUST end!

  30. bdaboy says:

    “We are still waiting on the 2000 jobs promised by your Govt! ”

    They need that $800M in order to pay for the 2000 jobs.

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