(DNO) – Telecommunication Minister, Kelvar Darroux, is expressing concerns over the rate of roaming in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and has challenged Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) to do something about it.
He was speaking at the presentation of funds by ECTEL to the government of Dominica on Tuesday morning as the island recovers from Hurricane Maria.
“I have always mentioned it at the Council of Minister’s meeting that ECTEL needs to work speedily in ensuring that the roaming rates, particularly within the OECS territories is something that is looked at critically to ensure these rates can be lowered,” he stated.
Darroux questioned why when OECS citizens travel to member states and “pay so much” for roaming.
“Why is it that you have to leave Dominica and go across to St. Lucia or to Antigua or to St. Kitts and you have to pay so much for roaming charges,” he stated. “It is critical in such a small area, the EU has gone ahead and done it why can’t we five countries within the OECS do the same thing to reduce the roaming rates for our citizens here in the OECS territories,”
He stated that his challenge to ECTEL is to look into the matter.
“I am hoping that at the next board meeting that this is discussed and when the Council of Ministers meet, we can take a firm position on this thing,” Darroux said.
At Tuesday’s presentation, EC$350,000 was given to the Government of Dominica by ECTEL.
Darroux said $150,000 will go towards housing projects in St. Joseph and $200,000 will go towards the National Telecommunication Regulatory Commission of Dominica to ensure the complete restoration of its business.