20 Aug 2020
Updated April 2023
Over recent decades, the Cayman Islands has developed a modern and sophisticated telecommunications infrastructure which has allowed the islands to offer some of the fastest internet services in the Caribbean. The extensive scope and quality of the telecommunications services offered has allowed Cayman to solidify itself as a top tourist destination and global financial centre, as residents and businesses can easily stay connected to the rest of the world.
Cayman’s level of internet users is approximately 10 percentage points higher than the rest of the Caribbean and Latin America (source).
How many providers are there?
There are two mobile telephone service providers on island – Digicel and FLOW. Both companies provide an international direct dialling service. These providers collectively serve 98,000 mobile users across all three islands. This number increased by 1,238 (1.3%) between January 2020 and January 2021. The number of mobile connections in the Cayman Islands in January 2021 was equivalent to 148.3% of the total population (source).
There are four licensed TV service providers – FLOW, WestStar TV Ltd., Infinity Broadband (trading as C3) and WestTel Ltd. (trading as Logic) (source) – who offer a range of local and international shows. Streaming is also a popular choice on island; however, it should be noted that not all streaming services are available on island. Available in Cayman are Netflix, HBO Max, Hulu and Apple TV.
These four TV service providers also all offer broadband internet services in the Cayman Islands, offering wireless, fixed-line and fibre-optic connections. They all offer residential and business solutions for their clients and most offer bundle deals which can reduce the overall cost.
What services are offered?
Local providers offer wireless, fixed-line and fibre-optic internet connections.
All service providers on island offer both residential and business solutions for their customers, including internet, TV and phone services. Providers are able to cater to a variety of needs, e.g. C3 can support larger enterprises which may require more complex solutions such as MPLS and SD-WAN (source). Providers occasionally offer promotions such as package deals or free installation, so it is recommended that customers shop around to ensure they are getting the best value for money.
Installation costs and times vary between providers and on the type of service required. For example, Logic’s fibre installation typically takes one week, whereas Digicel’s LTE residential broadband requires no installation as there is no need for a fixed line.
The government has also recently implemented 10 public Wi-Fi hotspots across Grand Cayman (source) in order to provide some economic relief to the wider community from the social impact of COVID-19.
What is the average cost for these services?
Unfortunately, Cayman’s telecommunication services cannot benefit from economies of scale in the same way as other larger countries such as the United States or United Kingdom, and so the cost of broadband and mobile services is more expensive than in larger markets. However, the internet speeds on offer are highly competitive and service providers sometimes offer a variety of discounted packages which can reduce the overall cost.
Digicel’s broadband offerings range from CI$90 to $190 per month as of February 2022. They offer a variety of speeds to suit modern needs whether you're a casual browser, avid streamer, or dedicated gamer (source).
FLOW’s broadband packages range from CI$90 to $200 per month based on speed, as of February 2022. On sign-up for their broadband services, FLOW offers free installation as well as no contract options (source).
Logic’s fibre and wireless internet packages range from $79 to $199 per month for fibre internet and $65 to $105 per month for wireless internet services, as of February 2023 (source). For customers in areas where fibre is not yet available, Logic also offers ‘plug and play’ wireless internet which doesn’t require any complex installation and so can be used the same day as collection.
C3’s main fibre internet packages and prices ranged from $74.99 to $399 per month, as of February 2023 (source).
How strong is the service network in Cayman?
Cayman is served by two subsea fibre cables, connecting the islands to Florida and Jamaica, which allows Cayman to benefit from international infrastructure. In addition, fibre installation continues across Grand Cayman and as such the network is constantly expanding to more districts and neighbourhoods.
This infrastructure was further strengthened and reliability improved in 2016, as legal amendments gave regulators the ability to fine telecommunication providers up to $50,000 for failing to provide their advertised internet speeds (source).
Bandwidths vary from 10Mbps up to 1000Mbps in districts served by fibre. Fibre is currently available along Seven Mile Beach and most neighbourhoods in West Bay, the Seven Mile Beach area, George Town, South Sound, Prospect, Savannah and Bodden Town.
Broadband tests in the capital, George Town, showed that the average download speeds were just over 50Mbps, with Logic ranked the fastest internet provider in that district (source).
However, there are always improvements that can be made, and the Cayman Islands' Strategic Economic Advisory Council has identified Cayman's telecommunications and internet infrastructure as an opportunity to be strengthened following the pressures that COVID-19 put on these systems as companies quickly moved to digital (source). The Ministry of Infrastructure has requested a formal feasibility study into the modernisation of the Islands’ submarine cable infrastructure, with an eye to adding a third subsea cable to further bolster internet infrastructure.
How does Cayman’s internet compare to elsewhere in the Caribbean and other offshore jurisdictions?
Cayman offers the fastest internet speeds in the Caribbean with average speeds of 16.12Mbps across all three islands – not far off the UK average of 22.37Mbps. Other offshore financial jurisdictions, such as Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands, lag behind with average speeds of 13.55Mbps and 7.75Mbps respectively. Other Caribbean nations trail behind Cayman, with average speeds of 9.08Mbps in Jamaica and 11.13Mbps in the Bahamas (source). Cayman’s average internet speed of 16.12Mbps – with available bandwidths up to 1000Mbps – exceeds the Caribbean’s average and will only continue to improve in response to consumer and business demand.