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Published:Saturday | May 12, 2012 | 12:00 AM

What is the logic behind reducing int'l call rates?


As a former telecoms executive, I am concerned with the implications of the Emergency Telecommunications Act, as it relates to tax revenues for Jamaica.

Without wanting to dazzle your readership with jargon and intricacies of the telecoms industry, as I understand it, the Office of Utilities Regulation - with its new super powers - intends to reduce the wholesale charge for international telecoms companies sending calls to Jamaica.

This, in turn, will increase the enormous profits foreign companies like AT&T already make at the expense of our local providers like Flow, Digicel and LIME - but further, and of the utmost significance, is that it will reduce tax income by approximately J$1 billion.

At a time when Jamaican needs every dollar of tax revenues and every dollar of investment - what is the logic in this? Particularly when the only beneficiaries of this retrograde step will be the coffers of foreign telecoms companies who do not even operate here in Jamaica?

It's a crazy step that can only leave me questioning who is making these decisions and how blind and misinformed are they.


Kingston 6