Wed | Jan 16, 2019

Level playing field for telecom consumers

Published:Saturday | November 29, 2014 | 12:00 AM


After reading the article by Gail Moss-Solomon ('Digicel states position on proposed merger', November 27, 2014), as a consumer of all three - Cable & Wireless, Digicel and Flow - I must say I would have to agree with some of her points.

The first three points stood out to me, as they will to most consumers:

"The good of consumers must be paramount. We cannot risk an environment of higher prices, slower investment and degraded service which often flow from virtual or actual monopolies."

"The region has come so far in terms of technological and economic development, and steps should be taken to ensure this is maintained."

"A level playing field is vital for competition to thrive and consumers and the economy to benefit from it."

Understanding that Mrs Moss-Solomon is employed by Digicel and her points may be biased doesn't make them any less true. Cable & Wireless consumers, myself included, lament the days of monopoly where it held us in a chokehold for years, forcing us to pay to make and receive phone calls - until Digicel came around.

A level playing field is necessary for a fair and competitive battle between these telecoms and will work out in favour of the consumers. The regional regulators are to do their due diligence to ensure that consumer rights are protected, and media houses need to keep the consumers informed of all the facts, so that they can make a well-informed decision.