Telecommunication Merger has no Direct Impact on St. Kitts & Nevis

Minister of Telecommunications and Chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL), Vincent Byron, confirmed how the merger between Cable & Wireless Communications Plc. and Columbus International Inc. will not impact St. Kitts and Nevis, as it would the Windward islands like Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and St. Lucia.

The telecommunications minister briefly explained the merger.

“What we have is that Cable and Wireless has been a service provider in St. Kitts & Nevis for a significant amount of time,” he said. “Cable and Wireless has entered into a partnership with Columbus Communications which operates as FLOW in some other jurisdictions. FLOW has never really operated in St. Kitts & Nevis and so coming to the Federation and taking over the branding of FLOW is something new for us.”

The Honourable Vincent Byron outlined his role as Chairman and what the authority hopes to do.

"As chairman I head a body of council of ministers and we basically have a rule over the authority that has a permanent staff of technical people who would advise on matters of this nature," he said, adding that there has been concerns from the technical staff who are working assiduously to monitor what is happening.

As chairman I head a body of council of ministers and we basically have a rule over the authority that has a permanent staff of technical people who would advise on matters of this nature,” he said, adding that there has been concerns from the technical staff who are working assiduously to monitor what is happening.

The Chairman stated that in 2017, they hope to introduce a new system that would bring some ease to consumers.

What we would be doing next year is that we would hope that an Electronic Communications Bill would be brought to Parliament in the five ECTEL namely, Grenada, St. Vincent, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis,” said the chairman, while noting that Antigua has shown an interest in the bill, and although it is not a full time member, it has voiced its intention to join shorty.

He explained the nature of the bill, stating that it would allow the Member States to be able to deal with service providers and it would bring a number of new measures. They would also be able to respond to service providers and the market place.

As Chairman, the Honourable Vincent Byron said he hopes that ECTEL can properly represent consumers in the sub-region, so that they can have those who provide the required services, whether data, mobile or TV.

The 32nd regular meeting of ECTEL Council of Ministers was held in St Kitts and Nevis on Thursday 16th October 2015, during which the Chairmanship of the ECTEL Council of Ministers was rotated from the Honourable Gregory Bowen of Grenada to the Honourable Vincent Byron of St. Kitts and Nevis.

ECTEL was established on May 04, 2000, by a Treaty signed in St. George’s, Grenada, by the Governments of the five mentioned Eastern Caribbean States. It is the regulatory body for telecommunications in its Member States and is made up of three components – A Council of Ministers, a regional Directorate and a National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC) in each Member State.

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