BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Monday November 30, 2015 – Chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) is concerned about the effects the merger between Cable & Wireless and Columbus Communications will have on the telecoms market in the Eastern Caribbean.
Vincent Byron Jr, who is Attorney General and Minister of Communications in St. Kitts and Nevis, says the government in the twin-island federation – the majority shareholder in The Cable, the main cable television and internet provider in St. Kitts that competed with LIME – was particularly concerned.
Cable and Wireless, which trades in the Caribbean as LIME, acquired Columbus Communications Inc., the operators of FLOW, earlier this year.
Byron said the priority should be for consumers of the sub-region to get good quality telecommunications services at an affordable price and that is what ECTEL, the regulatory body for the Eastern Caribbean, will focus on.
Other concerns that ECTEL will be tackling include: number portability, removal of roaming charges within the sub-region and the free use of services such as WhatsApp.
Byron said it was important that ECTEL member states have the proper legislative framework in place to address some of these developments in telecommunications.
“One of [these laws] is the Electronic Communication Bill that has been drafting for a number of years but has not been tabled by Parliament and we hope that next year we will be able to have our members introduce that, [which] gives us the type of laws in our individual countries to deal with those matters,” he said.