Why is the Caribbean plagued with flat-footed telecoms regulation?

In recent news reports from the Eastern Caribbean, the Council of Ministers of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL), both as a group and member individually, have been expressing concerns regarding the attitude of telecoms operators in that region. To a considerable degree, much of that attention has been focussed on the merged Flow/LIME operation, and the changes that will eventuate following the completion sale of Columbus International Inc. to Cable & Wireless Communications plc in March.

One of the issues that has been of particular concern to ECTEL has been plans by the Flow to increase broadband Internet rates in all of the countries in which either Flow or LIME has a presence, namely, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Grenada, According to a communiqué circulated by ECTEL on 19 October, at an earlier meeting in July 2015 with the “merging parties” had accepted the conditions proposed by ECTEL for approval of the integration of their business. Those conditions were in the process of being finalised, and ECTEL is not pleased that Flow has gone ahead and announced its intention to increase broadband Internet rates.

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