ECTEL clarifies position on LIME/Columbus merger

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ECTEL clarifies position on LIME/Columbus merger
Director of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) Embert Charles.
Director of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) Embert Charles.
Director of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) Embert Charles.

The Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) said it has taken steps to utilize legislative tools, to ensure that it keeps the environment open for competition in the telecommunications sector.

In addressing the issue relating to the LIME/Columbus merger, Managing Director of ECTEL Embert Charles said this will help to mitigate the impact of the merger on consumers in the region.

Charles said that as part of the overall policy objective as a regulator, it will continue discussions with the service providers until all parties reach an agreement.

However, it was highlighted that after 15 months of negotiations, ECTEL and LIME/Columbus were unable to reach an agreement, since the service provider refused the sign the agreement.

Minister responsible for Information and Broadcasting in Saint Lucia, Dr. James Fletcher noted that there are legal limitations that poses impediments for the regulation of telecommunication operations.

However, he said ECTEL is committed to ensuring smooth operation and the best result for the consumers.

Country Manager for the newly re-branded FLOW, Geraldine Pitt, had responded to statements made by Minister Fletcher, which she claims were inaccurate.

The minister had said that CWC/FLOW is allegedly refusing to adhere to certain recommendations to ensure the local telecoms market remains free and conducive for competition.

The CEO had said that while a full agreement has not been put together, FLOW has agreed to a number of conditions and will continue to dialogue with stakeholders.

Pitt also said there is no immediate plans by FLOW to increase the cost of its products and services.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. This is us now...........We're now more slimy, more limey and even more grimy.........and we're coming for your money!!!

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  2. LIME paid for FLOW more than it's worth and now they want to make their money back overnight, well sorry you can have your hight speed internet, phone service, and digital HD TV service back... I not paying the increase, globally the price of those services are going down and in St. Lucia they are going up???????? SMH

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  3. the following is from flow's website under local plans:
    https://discoverflow.co/saint-lucia/landline/local-plans

    PLANS PRICE PER MONTH
    Residential Telephone Line Rental $30.36

    Smart Choice Plan Includes: Line Rental, Call waiting, Caller ID, Voicemail, Call Forwarding, Conference Calling, Busy Call Return & a 20% discount off calls to six International Direct Dialled numbers.
    $45.31

    Cheap Chat: Unlimited domestic landline to landline calling plan Includes: Voicemail & Call Waiting
    $28.75

    Are they saying we have to pay this line rental charge of $30.36 plus $45.31 OR 28.75 for the phone service??? someone needs to come out and explain.

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    • Landline rental was 20.- EC at Carib Cable. If Flow go up to 30.36EC this is an increase of more then 50%.
      Unfortunatly my increase in salary since that time is ZERO :-(((((((( Question to Flow: do you pay your staff a 50% higher salary compare to that time??
      When new tele companys taking over existing ones In my mind the regional body ECTEL should protect the customers and not allow this companys to milk the country dry. And if the legislative need to be changed to protect the citizens then get it done.

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  4. when I read : ....there are no immediate plans from Flow to increase the cost of products and services.

    I just feel like somebody piss in my eyes when i read statements like this. Do ECTEL have the power to stop them from increasing the products or services? man man man, how can a institution like ECTEL allow a merger like this? Is this in the best interest of the countries what are you representing?

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  5. Those big multinational corporations will continue to walk all over us in the OECS until we have the necessary Competition Authority or Fair Trading Commission to enforce anti-trust laws.

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  6. "A dialogue with the stakeholders?" Ever tried to dialogue with Ms. PITT? C&W/LIME/FLOW whatever have made themselves and their alleged SERVICE invisible to the SAINT LUCIAN customer. I assume we are stakeholders.
    Why are service calls sent to non-English, non-Creole speakers in El Salvador, the poorest country in Central America ? Saint Lucia isn't poor enough for a call center? It's outrageous.

    Honestly, this service insults the intelligence of every Saint Lucian. Who speaks for us? This should not be. The Police Force phones including 999 do not work. Why? They are having "issues" with LIME. Minister, where are you?
    Maybe Juffali will give us a call center.

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  7. Ectel is being judge, jury and executioner. Don't blame them when the minister is for freedom. A Monopoly is one by definition and not the benefits it gives customers. We all know the state of our justus system. lessons have to be learnt from the 2013 joint venture sham. As if it was not so obvious.

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  8. CWC and FLOW has in fact increase the rates! Pratt is misleading (The stronger word is li3in9). I used to pay about $110 for a 10 Mbps Internet connection. That was before the merger. After the merger this 10 Mbps connection is $129. The 25 Mbps before merger was about $130. After the merger it is $159.99.

    Now, what they are doing is upgrading all person from 2 Mbps to 10 Mbps. Which is all good but those persons (who do not have any choice in this matter) will be billed $129. I suppose, when they eventually see the bill, they will complain.

    Shame on FLIME or rather SLIME and Pratt!

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      • very tru LIME did increase the data rates fee early april 2016. and I am sure that more will come. bcuz if is one company. and the internet fees for flow was increased then its only a matter of time b4 the internet from LIME is increased as well. and for me since that merger I hav been getting poor quality service.

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