Thu | May 25, 2017

A new monopoly taking effect?

Published:Friday | May 15, 2015 | 5:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Just in case some persons do not know, our country has entered into another monopoly in a sector that we do not want it to go. The Government of Jamaica has given approval for the merger between telecoms companies LIME and Flow, thus creating a monopoly on fixed landlines, underwater cables and fixed broadband services.

Not only is this a major cause of concern for us as consumers, but we are now seeing heavy price increases in cable, Internet and telephone by Flow, which has cemented in my mind that the current merger means no good for the Jamaican consumer. We have seen in some instances a 35 per cent increase in rates charged by Flow to its customers.

Jamaica has seen before what Cable & Wireless (now LIME) can do in terms of heavy prices on consumers, and we are not willing to go that route again. The Government, while not meddling in the free market, must ensure that the consumers are protected from the heavy telecommunications costs that riddled us in the '90s. Since the breaking up of the first Cable & Wireless monopoly, telecommunications access and costs have improved significantly for the benefit of our consumers. All of this is now likely to be eroded.

Welcome to Cable & Wireless monopoly #2.

Janine Reid