Greater telecoms policing coming
FTC to strengthen its supervision
The Fair Trading Commission (FTC) will soon be in a position to regulate all telecommunications services provided in Barbados regardless of the service provider involved.
Minister of Commerce Donville Inniss made this announcement today in the House of Assembly while moving the second reading of the Electronic Transactions (Amendment) Bill, 2014.
Giving the background to the supervision of the telecommunications industry by the FTC, Inniss said: “The FTC is still tasked with regulating the services of landlines, which was the fundamental service provided by Cable & Wireless. All the other services are not yet under the purview of the FTC.
“At this time, the FTC can only regulate matters that relate to the fixed line services, international services – international telephone calls using their platform, the interconnectivity issues that exist between Cable & Wireless and others and tariffs relating to resales.
“This will soon become a thing of the past in the sense that legislation, which has been in the works for many years, has passed Cabinet and is now with the various stakeholders and the Chief Parliamentary Counsel as well as the FTC and the Ministry of Commerce and three other bodies.
“Soon we will be able to have the FTC in a position to regulate all telecom services provided in Barbados, regardless of the service provider. This is important because as comsumers we must have the right to clear knowledge of standard of service, what to expect when you get a cellular phone line and what to expect when you have a landline,”
The St James South MP also announced that the FTC would be mandated to regulate the operations of water services and sewerage in the country.
“As we build out and diversify the economy we have to be mindful that Barbados must at all times be known as a jurisdiction that is well regulated, where both the consumer and the service provider have rights and there is a public authority which regulates any disputes that may arise from time to time.
“In an ideal world of perfect competition there would be no need for a regulatory body like the FTC,” Inniss said.
The Minister of Commerce acknowledged that security was an area which had to be addressed at a time when the country was adopting modern technology.