Pressure on FLOW to back down on price increase

Two of the leading Trade Unionists in Grenada, President of Grenada Union of Teachers (GUT), Lydon Lewis and President of the Technical and Allied Workers Union (TAWU), Chester Humphrey have expressed their total disgust and annoyance with the recent notification of a rise in price for Internet Broadband from Flow.

The two major trade union leaders took shots at FLOW at a press conference Tuesday at the Public Workers Union (PWU) Building to lash out at the impending increase.

A few weeks ago, FLOW announced that it will be increasing its Internet cost by $20, moving the monthly price from $79.50 to $99.50.

The National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC) has admitted that it was approached by FLOW but has not given approval for the increase.

Humphrey, the current President of the Senate told reporters that a Consumer Protection Agency is needed in Grenada to have oversight of such matters.

“All over the world broadband prices are plummeting … so why here it is the opposite direction … simply because you have a monopoly – there is now no competition because Cable and Wireless has bought out the competitors”, he said.

“… In other words, under the law, they don’t need permission; all they need to do is inform. We need to lead a movement, we consumers should be out there picketing Cable and Wireless and them and demand no increase”, he added.
GUT President Lydon Lewis said he believes that consumers are already very over-priced for services that are most of the time very poor from FLOW.

“Imagine you’re paying minimum $80 for Channels that can be added free in most cases and Channels that are blocked when certain programmes are on. You have situations where you have frequent black-outs and now you’re telling me that services are about to go up again on an already, a very high consumer base in Grenada. This is terrible,” he remarked.

Lewis suggested that consumers should unsubscribe for a few months to send a message to FLOW.

“Bite the bullet, ask to cut it off.  Let them see what it will be like not to earn income for three months. In fact, how many of us look at the Channels we pay for anyway and you have internet service that drops more often than ripe mangoes and it’s really poor and to add more weight on king sugar as we say in local parlance, it’s really inconsiderate to the working people and to those struggling persons who pay these bills every month,” he told reporters.

The GUT President warned that he is prepared to call on his membership to consider carefully the subscription from these companies to show disapproval to the present service providers in Grenada.

The impending FLOW increase was also addressed by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Legal Affairs, Elvin Nimrod at the post-Cabinet Press briefing held on Tuesday.

The elected Member of Parliament for Carriacou & Petite Martinique pointed out that whatever increase is being contemplated by FLOW should be considered to be null and void.

“The procedures have not been followed, the NTRC have not received anything as far as I know in terms of the proposal and any such proposal is not deserving of being honoured”, he said.

“I would not go into saying anything more because as I said the body that deals with that is the NTRC and they have not received any notification as far as I’m concerned – so any proposal in my opinion is really null and void,” he added.

THE NEW TODAY made several attempts to contact senior officials of FLOW for comment on the issue but was unsuccessful.

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