PRESS RELEASE – Saint Lucia’s Minister with responsibility for telecommunications, Hon. Dr. James Fletcher, has written to the telecommunications company LIME expressing serious concerns over a decision by LIME to charge customers $6.18 monthly, as of 1st January 2015, for printed copies of their bills.
Minister Fletcher, in his letter to LIME states “this decision by LIME will disadvantage a large segment of our population who use LIME as a service provider but do not have access to internet services, either through mobile or fixed broadband”.
Saint Lucia’s telecommunications minister indicated that in a country where broadband penetration was less than 20% and in some communities like Canaries as low as 13.2%, LIME’s pronouncement will place the bulk of its Saint Lucian customers at a severe financial disadvantage.
Dr. Fletcher’s 19th November, 2014 letter to LIME, which was copied to the Managing Director of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) and the Chairman of Saint Lucia’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC), strongly encouraged LIME to revisit its decision to charge customers who opt for a printed, posted monthly bill and to not proceed in this direction at this time.
Hon. Dr. James Fletcher, who also has responsibility for Public Service, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, recommended that while LIME should, by all means, “encourage its customers to use the e-billing service; it should not penalize the large numbers who are not able to avail themselves of this option”.