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Telecoms Minister among other Regional Telecoms Ministers in St. Lucia to Discuss the EC Bill and other topics

13th April 2016

Telecommunications Minister the Honourable Melford Nicholas is in St. Lucia with other regional Telecommunications Ministers discussing a new draft of the Electronic Communications Bill (EC Bill).

The new legislation according to information circulated by the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) is to strengthen the rules to consumer rights and ensure that the investment climate remains open and competitive.

The EC Bill contains provisions on changes to the licensing process which will facilitate investment in all the ECTEL Member States, new rules to address some of the competition issues facing the sector and recommendations on the strengthening of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commissions (NTRCS) to make them more efficient and effective.

Improved rules for the resolution of quality of service issues faced by consumers is also outlined in the legislation.

The ECTEL Council of Ministers will consider new quality of service regulations and have initial discussions on consumer protection regulations, retail pricing, wholesale pricing and the sharing of infrastructure, which are currently out for public consultation.

The impact of the merger of Cable & Wireless Communications and Columbus International in light of the impasse in negotiations between ECTEL and the companies will also be addressed.

Minister Nicholas has indicated that with the modernization of Antigua and Barbuda's telecommunications framework through the passage of a new Telecommunications Bill the country's rankings with the regional body will improve.

Antigua and Barbuda is not yet a member of ECTEL but was granted observer status since 2012.

For More Information Contact:
Jaquis Browne
Tel: (268) 764-0223