Tue | Sep 26, 2017

St Kitts and Nevis concerned about Cable and Wireless-Flow merger

Published:Monday | November 30, 2015 | 11:31 PM

St Kitts and Nevis’ Attorney General and Minister of Communications, Vincent Byron Jr., says the Government is concerned about the effects the merger between telecommunications company Cable and Wireless and Columbus Communications will have on the telecommunications market in that country and the wider Eastern Caribbean.

In March of this year, Cable and Wireless, the parent company for LIME, announced that it had completed its US$1.85 billion acquisition of 100 per cent of the equity of Columbus Communications Inc., the operators of FLOW.

The merger has sparked concerns and debates around the Caribbean that the merger could create a telecommunications monopoly.

Byron, who is also the chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority, said the merger is a concern considering that the Government is majority shareholder in The Cable, the main cable television and Internet provider on St Kitts that competed with LIME.

The authority is the regulatory telecommunications body for the Eastern Caribbean.

He said the priority should be for consumers of the subregion to get good quality telecommunications services at an affordable price.

Byron said the authority will also be addressing other issues, including number portability, the removal of roaming charges within the subregion and the free use of over the top services such as WhatsApp.