Statement on the Unauthorised Operation of Public Telecommunications Networks and/or Broadcasting Services
I have observed the Public Advisory dated June 10, 2016 from the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago in which all persons operating a public telecommunications network or broadcasting service contrary to the provisions of the Telecommunications Act Chap. 47:31 (the Act) are required to immediately cease and desist operation.
As the Minister with responsibility for telecommunications, I am guided by the regulatory framework prescribed by the Act and cognisant of the separation of functions between the Authority as Regulator and Government in the overall administration of the sector. Government appreciates that the telecommunications sector has tremendous national, social and cultural impact but is also mindful that neither the Minister nor the Government has the authority to intervene in the affairs of operators which fall into the category of persons referenced in the Public Advisory.
The reality of the current landscape and one of the consequences of concessionaires failing to pay concession fees to the Authority, is that the Authority’s net amount due to the Consolidated Fund for 2014 was approximately twenty million dollars lower than projected. Government is ever mindful of the Act’s objectives to promote the orderly development of a telecommunications systems which enriches the economic well-being of society. Accordingly, we recognise that the Authority’s compliance processes are imperative to its responsible regulation of this sector.
Government remains committed to the continued development of the telecommunications sector and to fairness and open competition within the existing legal and regulatory framework.
Honourable Maxie Cuffie, M.P.
Minister of Public Administration and Communications
Corporate Communications Division
868 624 4724 ext 2300/2076