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Telecoms director calls for regional consultations on net neutrality and regulations

Published:Thursday | October 27, 2016 | 12:57 PM
Dr Andrew Wheatley

Jovan Johnson, Staff Reporter

The Managing Director of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority, Embert Charles, has called for full public consultations throughout the region with a view to quickly resolving the concerns about net neutrality and regulations.

Net neutrality is the principle of equal access to Internet content on capable devices.

Speaking at a conference of the Organisation of Caribbean Utility Regulators now on in St James, Charles said the responses throughout the region to net neutrality have been varied.

Guyana for example has passed laws affirming its commitment to net neutrality while other countries such as Jamaica have issued ministerial orders supporting the concept.

This morning, Jamaica's technology minister, Dr Andrew Wheatley, reiterated the Government's view.


Technology Minister, Dr Andrew Wheatley

The fuss over net neutrality had led to the blocking on WhatsApp calling on one local network a few months ago.

Service providers have argued that certain net neutrality regulations could affect their revenue and businesses.

Meanwhile, Charles says politicians have partly supported the principle of net neutrality because it puts them on the side of citizens and civil advocates who insist on limited or no regulation at all.

However, he said consultations need to take place to determine the appropriate collective response.