Outside Company to Advise Whether Spectrum Can be Shared

353
File Photo

Tuesday 18th June, 2019-Government has sought the expertise of an external company to investigate and share their findings on whether the 850 spectrum can be equally shared between the country’s three telecommunications companies.

This as the fallout continues over the move by the current administration to equally share the spectrum.

Speaking on state television, Prime Minister Gaston Browne dismissed suggestions that the government is embroiled in a fight with the two foreign companies DIGICEL and FLOW, reiterating that the decision made by the cabinet is to ensure equity within the market.

He said they were advised the re-distribution is possible, but to ensure fairness, government will go one step further.

DIGICEL moved to the High Court last month, seeking judicial review, after government served notice of its intention.

The company contends government’s confiscation of the spectrum to the sole benefit of APUA and the detriment of Digicel’s customers would result in half of their customer base experiencing significant mobile service disruption – not to mention the broader negative impact on emergency services and other essential services like point of sale terminals and home security systems – for a period of at least 18 months, since that is the time it would take Digicel to completely rebuild its network at a cost of at least US$25 million.

But Prime Minister Browne stated government never approached the issue from a dictatorial standpoint. Instead, it is the hope that all parties will be satisfied with the outcome.

Cable and Wireless that operates FLOW has since joined in the court action.

For its part, APUA has expressed a desire to be an equal beneficiary of the resources which are necessary to operate in a competitive market and meet the demands of its customers.

In court last month, the Judge after hearing the petition, gave both DIGICEL and the government 90 days to come to an agreement and if that fails, the claimants will be allowed to file for judicial review.

While all sides are hoping for an amicable solution to the matter, Prime Minister Gaston Browne is insisting APUA will not be pushed out.