Digicel challenges Cable & Wireless’ monopoly in court

Digicel, in its aim to break Cable & Wireless’ exclusive monopoly rights on international calls in and out of the island, took the matter to the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court yesterday.

The move is the latest in a number of legal battles between the two telecommunications giants, the last of which Digicel lost.

A release from the company yesterday stated: “Digicel has today issued legal proceedings in the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court challenging the purported exclusive monopoly held by Cable & Wireless on international calls coming in and out of Antigua & Barbuda.

“Digicel has sought various declarations from the Court concerning the validity of Cable and Wireless licence as well as various declarations that the continued imposition of this Cable and Wireless international monopoly breaches fundamental provisions of the Constitution of Antigua & Barbuda.”

The challenge refers to Section 12 of the Constitution’s Protection of Freedom of Expression, including Freedom of the Press.

“With the exception of Guyana, Antigua & Barbuda is the last territory in the Caribbean region where the telecommunications market is not fully liberalised,” the release said.

“The Government of Guyana has recently announced plans to table new legislation by the end of the year which is expected to bring an end to the monopoly on international services currently held by the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GT&T).”