Castries, St Lucia (GIS) — Market competition within the information and communication technology (ICT) sector was discussed at the 60th meeting of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Authority held on Wednesday.
OECS Director General Dr Didacus Jules said that the organization has thoroughly examined ICT related issues such as provision and affordability.
“We have worked out what needs to be put in place to make ICT really affordable, widespread, and create the space for a digital economy,” Jules said. “For example, there must be number portability. If you want to switch providers, then your number goes with you.
“We also want to see the removal of roaming charges. We’re not talking about the fancy marketing gilts of home roaming; we want the removal of roaming. If the OECS is a single economic space, in the same way you can make a call from Castries to Vieux Fort, you should be able to make a call from Castries to St George’s or St George’s to St John’s. It cannot be a roaming call.”
Jules also spoke on the implementation of the Competitiveness Commission to deal with mergers in the OECS.
“We are very strong on these prepositions and keep pushing the buttons on it as we put in place the Competitiveness Commission which will take care of future mergers, so that in the future, people will have to come to the OECS for the approval of such acquisitions and mergers. They don’t have to now because our regulatory apparatus is weak but we are tightening up on those things.”
The OECS Commission is working to define the ICT provision in the OECS.