Government endorsing cable theft?
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I write following two articles published in your newspaper, 'Cable clash! Illegal access to
US networks puts OPM and Broadcasting Commission on collision course' (Sunday Gleaner, May 17, 2015) and 'Broadcasting Commission has right to demand cable channel removal - Dunn' (Gleaner, May 18, 2015).
Professor Hopeton Dunn is a man of principle who, as chairman of the Broadcasting Commission, is clearly trying to do his job in cleaning up the messy state that is the Jamaican cable TV market as demonstrated by his directive to enforce the removal of illegal channels - the first 19 of which are due to come off on May 31.
The Broadcasting Commission should be commended for the job it is doing - for trying to drag Jamaica kicking and screaming into a place of integrity when it comes to the cable industry whose players are effectively stealing and airing content while charging customers for the pleasure. It is widely accepted that Jamaica has a poor (unwarranted in most cases) perception among international circles and the commission is attempting to rectify that and force these operators to play fair.
As an independent regulator, the Government should be supporting the commission in its authority and purpose on this legitimate action. Instead, the Office of the Prime Minister is threatening to overturn the Broadcasting Commission's directive - an action that not only amounts to political interference but also sends the message that the Government condones and even endorses theft.