The Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) Council of Ministers has deemed it unacceptable that telecommunication provider, FLOW has announced its intention to increase broadband rates in the territories affected by the intended merger with LIME at a time when the wordings of the agreed conditions are still being finalised.
A communique issued by the regional body at the end of the 32nd Regular Meeting of ECTEL Council of Ministers held in St. Kitts and Nevis said that “this announcement (by FLOW) goes against the spirit of the discussions between the merging parties and the Regulator.”
Last month, FLOW customers in Grenada were informed that “effective November 1st there will be a price adjustment in your FLOW residential broadband package.”
The new prices put forward are Turbo 12 EC $99.99 and Turbo 20 EC $149.00.
“It is the Council’s desire to continue to protect the interest of consumers and advocate in the best interests of the citizens of the ECTEL Member States,” the Ministers said in the communique.
The release states that the merging parties on July 13 accepted a number of conditions proposed by ECTEL for approval of the integration of their business.
One of the conditions accepted is to allow their customers of fixed broadband, fixed voice and subscriber television services to migrate to another plan without the imposition of penalties.
However, on September 14, ECTEL received from the merging parties, an amended version of the draft agreement which they (the merging parties) rendered unenforceable.
ECTEL, in turn rejected the proposed amendments coming from the merging parties.
The Council of Ministers encouraged all stakeholders including consumer agencies to come together in a united effort to ensure that the merging parties adhere to and not delay implementation of the conditions agreed with the Regulators.
According to the communique, all Ministers have committed to passing all outstanding regulations, and to expedite the finalisation of the Electronic Telecommunications Bill which is designed to strengthen the powers of the Regulators in the ECTEL Member States.
Grenada’s Deputy Prime Minister, Elvin Nimrod has urged home owners on the island to ignore the rate increase announced by FLOW to take effect from November 1.