CHANGES ARE BEING made to the Telecommunications Act that will give telecom consumers better protection.
The National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission and a team from Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications (ECTEL) have been involved in consultations locally regarding a new Bill to replace aspects of the telecommunication Act which was enacted fifteen years ago.
The new legislation is known as the Electronic Telecommunications Bill.
ECTEL Managing Director Embert Charles has explained that with the numerous changes within the sector new regulatory responses are required.
He said the major changes are conversions which have moved from telecommunications to electronic communications.
Mr Charles added that with the advent of the Internet, services have converged to be delivered on the same platform and the rules of engagement must change for better quality of services.
According to the ECTEL managing director, the body went through two years of consultation and gave opportunities to the various service providers and stakeholders to comment on the draft bill.
He said ECTEL has strengthened its consumer protection provisions in the new legislation with its main intention to simplify these processes as much as possible.
ECTEL’s main role as a regulator is to provide recommendations to all member states namely Grenada, St Vincent, St Lucia, Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis.
Charles said that the Electronic Telecommunications Bill is effectively completed with the some fine-tuning to be done with the drafters and the attorney general department.
According to ECTEL the new Bill provides reasonable and progressive changes in regulating the sector with new, strong legislation particularly on consumer protection, which Charles said would balance out some of the present imperfect situations.
The Managing Director further encouraged consumers to visit their website to know their rights noting that unless they know their rights they cannot advocate for redress.
Charles noted that companies and organizations can also use the website to gain insight and knowledge on important legislation and regulation, which will govern operations within the sector.