Fri | Aug 18, 2017

ReadyTV almost ready to roll

Published:Friday | November 11, 2016 | 11:00 AMTameka Gordon
Chris Dehring, CEO of Digital Interactive Services Limited.

Cable company Digital Interactive Services Limited, which will trade as ReadyTV, says it has already spent US$2 million to install a tower in St Andrew and expects to roll out its television services within months.

The company has also found a pool of local investors to back the venture, said Digital Interactive CEO Chris Dehring.

"We have a group of local investors, Ready Friends," said Dehring. "You can call them angel investors who collectively pooled funds to help us get going."

The funding has allowed the fledgling company "to at least establish the first leg of the digital rollout," he said, adding that the new tower has been funded from this investment.

ReadyTV will launch by the first quarter of 2017, Dehring said.

Digital Interactive also has David Cassanova, banker Peter Reid and entertainer Orville 'Shaggy' Burrell among its directors.

The company is now testing the reach of its network with the erection of the first tower.

"We are actually doing drive tests, up and down streets, making sure the various households are covered. We expect that this first tower will cover at least 300,000 households within Kingston and St Andrew, St Catherine, and Clarendon," Dehring said.

The company has been granted an islandwide special subscriber television licence that will allow it to use both wired and wireless technology to deliver multiple television channels to its customers across Jamaica.

ReadyTV will eventually offer more than 200 channels. Deals with local and international content providers are still being worked out, he said.

Digital Interactive has Mayberry Investments Limited to act as the company's lead financial adviser while it builds out the business. For Dehring, while listing the company on the stock market is an option they will eventually pursue, that won't happen for another three to five years.

"What we want to do is establish the business model and the service before we do that," he said.

ReadyTV expects full rollout in 18-24 months once it starts offering services.

tameka.gordon@gleanerjm.com