Michael Says Protection of State Telecoms Company Holding Up Development

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St. Peter Mp Asot Michael

Government MP Hon. Asot Michael wants the Gaston Browne administration to stop allowing protection of a state-owned telecommunication company to prevent it from reforming the legal and regulatory landscape for telecommunications in the country.

“For the past four and a half years”, Asot Michael declared, “the Ministry of Telecommunications has been making the case for reforming the legal and regulatory landscape affecting telecommunications in Antigua and Barbuda and on each and every occasion, the efforts have been thwarted in favour of protection of APUA Telecoms”.

The former Tourism Minister believes the strategy of holding off on the enactment of the Telecommunications Bill until APUA gets its act together is holding up the country’s development:

“While we are seeking to protect and re-invigorate the APUA, we are also by our own actions enabling them to stifle consumer options in the process… What a ludicrous proposition we still have today where APUA is both a competitor in and regulator of the local telecoms market. It is the APUA who approves the license of the other two mobile operators and it is APUA that maintains a monopoly on the fixed line network in the country for telecommunications”.

In a two-hour presentation on the 2019 Budget, Hon. Asot Michael told Parliament “these irregularities… will be corrected by the passage of the Telecommunications Bill”. But he said the proposed legislation “has been languishing on the order paper of Parliament, year after year, despite promises to the contrary by both the Prime Minister and the Minister of Telecommunications.

According to the St. Peter’s MP, “We aren’t going to be able to attract the new Fintech Industry Players to our shores even if we enact new legislation governing block chain and crypto currency technologies while our telecommunications infrastructure and environment remains in the shambles that it is today… Not only the new Fintech Industries and Schools and new residential areas, but also the Central Government if it is to have the type of network to support the eGovernment initiatives…

Hon Asot Michael is recommending the establishment of an independent regulatory commission…that will give the new Telecoms companies a fair chance to compete and succeed in the telecoms market.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Asot Michael is 100% correct. This should be done ASAP!

    PM Browne, your administration basically has super-majority control of Antigua’s government, can you just please get this passed and done?

    We need to attract cryptocurrency, blockchain and other alternative financial industries to Antigua ASAP.

  2. Sounds like the Honorable MP, no longer a Minister, is now willing to speak out against the PM’s government. Talk the truth! The other Cabinet Ministers are consistently quiet as a mouse as they are terrified of the PM’s dictatorial wrath. Talk as you like!!

    • If ‘tiger’ cares about a future for this country in any way he needs to bite back fiercely from the pain from the (humiliating) stab wound and go for the jugular…at this point what has he got to lose. If one takes care of the loose ends then it should be safe grounds to open up and spill the beans!

  3. The PM needs to give the APUA portfolio to MP. Nicholas and put Yearwood elsewhere.
    Nicholas can turn around APUA while blindfolded and shackled in less than a month. Kill two birds with one stone, get the telecoms bill passed and drag APUA into the 21st century.
    You’re welcome Mr. PM.

    • Time for yearwood to retire. He seems outdated. He is not technologically savy either. However yearwood is a guaranteed seat for labor party but he dont need a ministry.

  4. PERFECT SENSE

    What the parliamentarian has said makes ‘…Perfect Sense.’

    Relate the parliamentarian’s statement to motherhood, a woman is either ‘…pregnant or not pregnant.’

    She can never be said to be ‘…half pregnant’ and …half not pregnant.’

    In the instant case, where there is ‘…an APUA Monopoly,’ with ‘…Monopolistic Powers,’ the best arm to use in breaking them, is the ‘…Executive Arm of Government.’

    Did not the Prime Minister give inkling of breaking the ‘…Rubis Monopoly,’ being the sole supplier of aviation fuel?

    Conversely, anything or any agency of Government that ‘…retards progressive development,’ should be unhesitatingly removed.

    Is not the same to be done to thorny trees growing in a patch of lettuce?

  5. Nicholas is doing an excellent job where he is. Haven’t you noticed the positive changes at ABS. These days the people there are coming across like real professionals.

  6. State owned companies need to innovate and fight foe their position like anybody else. They cant operate in a mediocre sense and scoot by. So, let it be known,….APUA got to step up their game.

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