Moments after taking the oath of office, the new Chair of the Public Utilities Commission said the Commission will be focusing heavily on ensuring all systems are in place to ensure a smooth transition to liberalization of the telecommunications sector.
Attorney-at-Law, Dela Britton, took the oath of office before President David Granger on Wednesday morning, and told members of the media just after that the Commission has a group of dynamic professionals at the Commission, who will be paying attention to the process.
“The Commission has to be retooled and being retooled means that we have to have the necessary personnel to assist in that regard, because our duties are strict under the legislation and because they are strict, it means that we have mandatory obligations to the consumer, to the utility, the telecom utility and to the Minister, but we will have to have greater collaboration with the Ministry”, she said.
The legislation, which paves the way for the full liberalization of the telecommunications sector, was passed in the National Assembly and accented to by the President last year. Since then, the Ministry of Public Telecommunications has been in negotiations with GTT and Digicel over the move to free up the telecommunications field.
GTT has been saying that it wants to ensure a leveled playing field exists.
Just recently the company was forced to file a complaint with government over a move by Digicel to “illegally” bypass the local system. Digicel denied any wrongdoing.
Minister of Public Telecommunications, Cathy Hughes, today told members of the media that she is still hoping that the July deadline is met for the full liberalization of the telecommunications sector.
She noted that if that deadline is not met, then she hopes it will be sometimes just after. The Minister said negotiations are still ongoing, but added that those negotiations also involves agencies that do not fall under her Ministry.
The liberalization of the telecommunications sector is expected to pave the way for other players in the field.
GTT held a monopoly in international voice and data for over two decades.