FLOW broadband rates increased; NTRC says service “unregulated”

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FLOW broadband rates increased; NTRC says service “unregulated”

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FLOW St. Lucia has moved to increase its broadband monthly service rate, which took effect from Sunday, November 1, 2015.

However, this has come as a surprise to many persons, who raised concerns about the lack of consultation, before the increase was decided on and further implemented.

A text message was initially sent informing persons in October of these changes, which entails a 2 percent increase for the lowest broadband service, to 18 and in some cases 19 percent, for the other options.

However, it has been reported in the local media that the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC) responded to say that they have no authority to regulate broadband and subscriber TV services. It was also explained that this particular service is “unregulated.”

Nevertheless, the NTRC had written FLOW informing them of its disapproval and had asked them to reconsider its decision not to increase its prices, but despite these efforts, the company has since move to implement the changes.

While there is legislation in place which governs the retail prices for telecommunications services in Saint Lucia, the legislation only allows for providers to adjust prices for regulated services, but with the approval of the NTRC. In other cases, where the service is not regulated, permission is not needed.

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24 COMMENTS

  1. How can we sit around and accept this? Service is worse than ever. The staff are unhelpful and frustrated. We still need to pay more? This is ridiculous. This is worthy of a petition.press secretary rope in. I feel like I am forced to pay extra as I have no choice. Flow is crooked. Lime is worse. No hope.

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  2. @ Gids, whereas i agree with you that the increase happened out of ST. Lucia but legislation to regulate the rates happens in St. Lucia. It is also up the the Governments to regulate and delegate to NTRC. NTRC has no authority unless the government gives them that power, our government or tax payers fund NTRC. Therefore the problems always points back to incompetent governments who sign deals and legislate on our behalf, only later on to discover that we have been short-changed by our very own guardians. We must do more to hold our government more accountable. Who knows what deal they received to extort the public, remember that such have companies have deep pockets. Just saying!!!

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  3. I hope Digicel will be coming on board with TV and broadband soon. I can almost guarantee that the influx of dissatisfied FLOW/LIME Customers would leave everybody in a tailspin. I for one would surely move. Come on Digi do for us with TV and internet what you did with mobile service and handsets....

    Down with FLOW and LIME!

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  4. I cannot believe that a Regulatory body making a useless statement such as, they have no authority to regulate broadband and subscriber TV services in that case the NTRC is not fit for purpose.
    what is the point of the NTRC saying they (FLOW) did not discuss it with them ? so what if FLOW had discuss it with them the ( NTRC ) it would just be talk for talk sake, and back slapping.

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  5. Although I am in agreement with most if not everyone who have written regarding their concerns with the increase which have taken place, I would also inform persons that this increase did not happen in St. Lucia and the methods used were the same. FLOW did not inform the Barbadian public that they would be incrasing their rates and the people are up in arms.
    I think the time has come where we the consumer should be taking a stand against such disregards by companies like FLOW. Just saying.

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  6. You know we get what we deserve, We allow these companies to get away with anything without any action what so ever. How could a company with a great responsibility to the public make such a decision without at least letting us know why the change is necessary. Flow service level is degrading. I loose internet service every night at the same time. There is a lot of congestion on their networks. The TV lineup is 90% crap. I guess that is what my dollar is worth. At least inform us when there are major issues with your services. Our perceptions would be a lot more positive if Providers would at least communicate and work with us when there is an issue instead of keeping us in the dark.

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  7. "While there is legislation in place which governs the retail prices for telecommunications services in Saint Lucia, the legislation only allows for providers to adjust prices for regulated services, but with the approval of the NTRC. In other cases, where the service is not regulated, permission is not needed. "

    Now tell me what does the average St. Lucian understand by this statement? What does the average Joe take "telecommunications" to mean? Doesn't it include internet services and cable? So why not tell them exactly which services are regulated. So you see how they try to keep average Joe uneducated?

    Ok. So which other form of "telecommunication" is there in St. Lucia? Mobile and land lines? Don't these also work on an internet platform? So who you really think you fooling? The Governments, NTRC and all the companies are all co-conspirators in extorting the public. You think they didn't know that such loopholes were left in the legislation? They speak as if "LEGISLATION" is some self created phenomenon which nobody has control over. It just appears like a natural disaster. Probably we should be blaming some farmer who lives in Saltibus who can only speak creole for our misfortune. Come on Say "telecommunications" in patois, because its essential that everybody should speak patois. Right?

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  8. Why are subscriber TV services not regulated by the NTRC and ECTEL? Was this due to a conflict of interest which existed when the telecommunications laws were being drafted about 11 years ago? FILM AT ELEVEN.

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  9. People will not like what am about to say but EVERY COUNTRY IS GOVERNED BY LAWS Y DOESN'T OUR GOV'T HAVE LAWS TO PROTECT US FORM SUCH NONSENSE? They all have entertainment allowance and free calls and cable so to hell with us. I am not sure y any of us even voting. EVERY DAMN THING IN THIS COUNTRY HAS INCREASED FROM 2011.

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  10. And this is where one simply uses their consumer rights, too many times we are forced by companies to hang our hat where we can't reach it, there for if you think you have a right to increase your prices I have a right to discontinue you service.

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    • Can we all pledge to disconnect our services all at the same time. Let's flood Flow's retail outlets. I'm serious.

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    • And our consumer rights representative body is a freaking joke. Kingsley whatshisface just sitting there and his *** getting fatter. When was the last time the National Consumer Association did anything to better St. Lucia citizens? We just have to take anything in this country. Basic services are seen as luxury ....

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  11. and so it starts lime take over no competition like back in the 90s prices rocket no controls
    we going backwards
    now we learning what every body knew no monopoly= poor mans back bruk

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  12. LIME overpaid for FLOW and they want their returns on investment NOW and there is nothing NTRC can DO. For those who were not around in the late 80s/ early 90s pay attention because we are playing C&W's game of MONOPOLY again.

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  13. This is BS. They already getting worse than LIME was. And this merger will cause all customers to suffer tremendously. I am definitely switching to spectra.... Don't even care about speed anymore.....

    (18)(0)

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