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ECTEL to hold talks with Cable and Wireless on merger

Published:Wednesday | June 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM

St Lucia-based Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) has written to Cable and Wireless Communications Plc (CWC) with proposals for "modifications of its existing licences in order to address a number of potential negative impacts of the merger on the telecommunication markets in its member states".

CWC is merging with Columbus International under a US$3.025 billion deal.

A meeting with the telecom has been planned for July with ECTEL indicating it has outlined a number of concerns it says have been highlighted by the members of the ECTEL Council of Ministers.

These include, open access and wholesale cost for access to networks, fibre links, poles, ducts and facilities at cost-based prices; offering customers the option to migrate to the most favourable existing service plan in the market; treatment of the new merged entity as a dominant provider in relation to fixed broadband, fixed voice and cable television subscriber service.

ECTEL said the ministers also agreed with the conditions on the new merged entity outlined by the regulators in Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica, which have already approved the merger, and that its own

recommendations to CWC would include the removal of voice data roaming charges in ECTEL member states; commitment to improving mobile broadband, commitment to introducing local number portability for both fixed lines and mobile services and offering of broadband service without the requirement for a voice subscription.