Broadcast Commission not overruled
THE EDITOR, Sir:
I write in reference to The Gleaner editorial published on Tuesday, June 2, 2015, which contained a statement to the effect that the de facto minister of information, Senator Sandrea Falconer, had overruled the Broadcasting Commission's directive to local cable operators requiring the removal of 19 unlicensed channels. This did not occur.
The commission was not overruled. There is no provision in law that would support such an action. A portfolio minister may express a view on Broadcasting Commission action, provide policy direction, and accept or reject a recommendation from the commission, but the Broadcasting Commission operates within a legal framework which insulates it from political interference.
As outlined in our news release issued on May 26, 2015, the commission has extended the timeline for the implementation of the directive, following consultations with, and feedback from, stakeholders, including the minister, cable operators, rights holders and subscribers. It is not unusual for the commission to listen to and consider the concerns of its stakeholders.
To suggest otherwise would be misleading and ignores our history as an independent regulator that has always enjoyed bipartisan support.