Gov’t to introduce telecoms commission next year

Melford Nicholas
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ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Telecommunications Minister Melford Nicholas has declared that, come 2015, the Antigua & Barbuda will have a Telecommunications Regulatory Commission.

The minister told OBSERVER media that the independent body will be charged with managing the relationships and competition in the nation’s telecoms industry.

“It will set the rules of engagement for not only spectrum, but for competition in telecommunications market space for both APUA PCS and telephone division, Cable and Wireless-LIME, for Flow, Digicel, ACT and any other telecommunications entity that is likely to come,” Nicholas said.

His comments come amid regional fears that the Cable and Wireless’ acquisition of Columbus International will result in a loss of competition in the telecoms market.

But Nicholas said the merger may yet be beneficial to telecoms in Antigua & Barbuda under the regulation of the commission.

He hopes that planned investments brought about through the consolidation of the companies would lead to improvements to the country’s Internet speeds.

He noted, as well, that telecoms giant Digicel has also signalled plans to upgrade their platform.

(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)

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