Sunday, May 16, 2021

April 6, 2021  Philipsburg – TelEm Group is taking the roll-out of the company’s island-wide Fiber network infrastructure to a whole new level - with the launch of dramatically increased Fiber speeds for all existing and new Fiber customers. In announcing TelEm Group’s “MORE speed for the SAME price” campaign, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), Mr. Michiel Parent, says all existing

TelEm Fiber customers already had their bandwidth speeds automatically upgraded during these past weeks to the new speeds being offered.

Mr. Parent says absolutely no additional charges were made for the upgrades.

“Our valued customers don’t have to do anything at all, except continue to enjoy their free upgrade and continue using of the best and fastest Fiber network on St. Maarten,” said the TelEm Group CCO, adding that no announcement was made about the upgrade until now to ensure the higher speeds were being configured on the Fiber network as planned.

The CCO says the higher Fiber speeds are a direct answer to what TelEm Fiber customers themselves said they wanted when they were questioned in a Customer Satisfaction Survey last year, coming back with a resounding: “More internet speed without paying extra for it.”

“We took note of the survey results and put together these packages especially for the people of St. Maarten, in essence, giving them ‘MORE speed at the SAME price’,“ explained Mr. Parent.

He says, where customers were used to getting 8Mbps for $55, now they are getting up to 15Mbps. Fiber customers who used to get 15Mbps are now getting up to 25Mbps for the same attractive price of $90. Customers with the highest speeds of 50Mbps will now receive up to 85Mbps.

“There is just no comparable offer on St. Maarten today and we are very proud to be announcing these dramatic increases in speed in Fiber-ready areas,” said the CCO, adding that new customers in selected areas will also qualify for free installations.

“By taking the lead through its island-wide rollout of Fiber, TelEm Group is connecting new customers to the Fiber network every day and giving them superior internet speeds to fit their budget and their needs.

“As more and more areas connect to our Fiber network, so is the advantage of being on Fiber being realized. Besides the speed, our infrastructure is much more reliable than an antenna-based internet solution, which is especially important when you are in a hurricane zone, as we are in St. Maarten. With Fiber, we can put customer internet connections underground, where they are protected from wind, rain and flying debris,” continued Mr. Parent.

The CCO says another important advantage from a user perspective, is the opportunity for customers to take advantage of many TelEm Group services, including Triple Play packages that combine Landline with IPTV and internet connections.

Mr. Parent says along with this campaign, TelEm Fiber is stepping up its presence in various neighborhoods during the month of April in a bid to connect a record number of customers to the new Fiber infrastructure.

“We are rolling out in St. Peters and Betty’s Estate area right now. We have just finalized Madame Estate, Philipsburg, Simpson Bay and Pointe Blanche. Up next is St. John’s and Ebenezer.

“The general public has seen contractors working diligently around the island in various areas pulling cables and connecting streets with a good portion of the network already in place and connections ready to be made. With the new offers and promotions this month we are confident there are many people out there who will not want to miss out.

“Rollout is now progressing at a very fast pace, so residents who are interested in finding out when their neighborhood is ready can check for themselves by enquiring at any TelEm Group location, by following us on Facebook, or by visiting” stated the Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Parent.

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May 10, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — Amid growing pressure on the Hollywood Foreign Press Association from studios, stars and large swaths of the film industry, NBC said Monday that will not air the Golden Globes in 2022, putting in doubt the viability of one of Hollywood’s oldest and most-watched award shows. Criticism of the HFPA, which puts on the Globes and has been denounced for a lack of diversity and for ethical impropriates, reached such a pitch Monday that Tom Cruise returned his three Globes to the press association’s headquarters, according to a person who was granted anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the decision.

May 9, 2021 RAVENNA, Italy (AP) — Maestro Riccardo Muti has once again reopened the Italian musical season in his adopted hometown of Ravenna after another — and if all goes well perhaps final — round of pandemic closures. With a purposeful nod and flick of his baton, the 79-year-old conductor on Sunday ended what has been an unexpectedly long silence in Italian theaters, enrapturing a socially distanced and masked audience with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s first live performances since the fall — back-to-back evening concerts of Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms. The concerts launched a three-stop Italian tour by the Vienna Philharmonic to celebrate 50 years of ties with the conductor and served as a precursor to the summertime Ravenna Festival, this year celebrating the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death.

May 9, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — It will come as little surprise to its legion of fans that the first professional musical to be mounted in the U.S. during the pandemic was “Godspell.” The Berkshire Theater Group in western Massachusetts put on a production in August with plexiglass partitions between the actors and temperature checks for the audience. Why “Godspell”? Its message of hope and love. ″‘Godspell’ just felt like the one,” says the Berkshire Theater Group’s Artistic Director and CEO Kate Maguire. “All of a sudden the story of ‘Godspell’ and what it’s about became more important.” The John-Michael Tebelak and Stephen Schwartz musical is celebrating its 50th anniversary this month, a golden milestone for a show with roots in the hippie era but which can still speak to those on TikTok.

May 9, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — A new album from DMX will be released later this month. DMX’s longtime producer and collaborator, Grammy winner Swizz Beatz, announced on Monday that “EXODUS” will feature new material and drop on May 28. “My brother X was one of the most pure and rare souls I’ve ever met. He lived his life dedicated to his family and music. Most of all, he was generous with his giving and loved his fans beyond measure. This album, X couldn’t wait for his fans all around the world to hear and show just how much he valued each and every single person that has supported him unconditionally,” Swizz Beatz said in a statement. The posthumous album will be released on Def Jam, where DMX released most of his albums and made music history. The Grammy-nominated performer’s first five albums all debuted at No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200 albums chart. His hits include “Get at Me Dog,” “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem,” “Party Up (Up in Here)” and “X Gon’ Give It to Ya.”

Business News

May 12, 2021  LEMMONS, N.C. (AP) — The nation’s largest fuel pipeline restarted operations Wednesday, days after it was forced to shut down by a gang of hackers. The disruption of Colonial Pipeline caused long lines at gas stations in the Southeast due to distribution problems and panic-buying, draining supplies at thousands of gas stations. Colonial initiated the restart of pipeline operations late Wednesday, saying in a statement that “all lines, including those lateral lines that have been running manually, will return to normal operations.” But it will take several days for deliveries to return to normal, the company said.

May 10, 2021  NEW YORK (AP) — The nation’s consumer watchdog is signaling a more aggressive approach toward the financial services sectors after a few years of being on a tight leash. Under President Biden, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has rescinded or scaled back a number of policies put in place by the Trump administration. And the bureau is staffing up in anticipation of taking a more active role in regulation and enforcement, as it did during the Obama administration. This is all being done without the CFPB having a permanent director, an important position since the bureau’s authority comes from the director who is answerable only to the president. Dave Uejio, a long-time career employee of the bureau, has been the bureau’s acting director since Trump’s appointee Kathy Kraninger resigned the day Biden was sworn into office.

May 10, 2021  STOWE, Vt. (AP) — Eduardo Rovetto is hoping the state of Vermont’s reinstated requirement that people who are collecting unemployment benefits must seek work to qualify will help him hire enough staff for his restaurant in the resort town of Stowe. After more than a year of coronavirus restrictions on his business, Piecasso Pizzeria & Lounge, he’s expecting a breakout summer tourism season. But like employers across the country, he’s worried he won’t have enough workers. “We’ve been getting many excuses as to why not to return,” said Rovetto, who is offering a signing bonus of up to $600 to try to add 15 to 20 employees who agree to stay through the middle of October. “Obviously, it was a legitimate one with COVID, but, you know, I think that’s getting used less and less now. The vaccines are free; they are out there for anyone.”

Fashion News

Today on Good Morning Vogue: The Designers Demanding Diversity in the Italian Fashion System