In 1997, Paul Pereira started Interserv, the first ISP in the region, and had to battle the Cable and Wireless 40 year monopoly in order to establish it. Despite the fact that this was an Internet service provider, it still challenged the domain that the incumbent telecom monopoly had controlled for the previous 4 decades. The ISP’s shared data and information utilizing infrastructure were installed by the telecom companies and this was a process never before done.
As a result, it was a challenging environment for Interserv and any other ISP attempting to venture into this market. In fact, T1 lines were delayed in being provisioned, and there were numerous excuses and reasons provided by the incumbent as to why the infrastructure could not be provided for the new ISP’s.
Despite this, Interserv managed to get connectivity and in fact assisted Cable and Wireless in Barbados with their dial-up software which they were having a problem with for the rollout of their ISP services.
Interserv went on to establish the first full-service provider in the region, not just providing connectivity but also hosting training seminars and conferences at their facilities. Interserv launched webmasters training seminars and graduated teams of highly trained web developers, some of whom went on to establish full-time careers worldwide and win great accolades and recognition from the opportunities provided by Interserv.
For the community, Interserv hosted “Kids on the Net” a free neighborhood training programs for the kids to come and learn a new skill. This too won great accolades from many parents and families in the region.
The infrastructure built out of servers and firewalls spared no expense, as the strategy was to win the trust and confidence of major banks and insurance companies in order to take the next steps towards data convergence and redundancy. Uptime would be a critical factor.
By the end of the first year, Interserv had a monopoly on more than 85% of the websites and services being provided for multinational companies, including banks and insurance companies, and had established itself as the number one ISP in the region.
Today, Interserv still enjoys the prestige of being one of the more prominent providers in the region and the “pioneer” of the internet and web in the region.