THE Country Manager of FLOW St. Lucia, Geraldine Pitt has partially responded to comments made by Telecommunications Minister James Fletcher during the 33rd meeting of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) Council of Ministers on Wednesday.
During the meeting, Fletcher as well as the Chairman of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) Vincent Byron stated that they had made strong recommendations to both parent companies of LIME and FLOW to make the proper adjustments needed to reflect a better quality of service to consumers.
As was reported in Thursday’s issue of The VOICE, Fletcher said with regard to the controversial merger between the two companies: “Those mergers that are taking place are not mergers that are in the interest of the consumers in the Eastern Caribbean, they are in the interest of the shareholders of those companies.”
When asked for a response to the Minister’s comments, Pitt said: “We intend to issue an official response because some of what he said was not accurate and so we will address it in an official response. But let me nonetheless say at this point, we have worked for 15 months with ECTEL through the NTRC (National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission) directly and indirectly, engaging Minister, engaging wherever we needed to engage. Because while we did not need approval for the merger, our CEO, Mr. Bentley made a very early commitment that said we want to work collaboratively with ECTEL and the NTRC to get to a point where we can agree on how we move forward.”
The Country Manager also refuted claims made by the Minister accusing LIME of deliberately refusing to remove redundant lines from the LUCELEC poles in order to make way for other telecommunications companies to utilise them, calling the accusations “inaccurate”.
Pitt continued: “While at this point in time we don’t have an agreement, and some might I add, not all, we’ve agreed to quite a number of conditions, but while we don’t have complete agreement, the journey to have that conversation, that continues. So we have continuing engaging of ECTEL and NTRC because we clearly understand the role of ECTEL, we understand the role of NTRC and we understand the role that they play ensuring that the customers get the best product, services and everything from a customer’s point of view.”
Meanwhile, amidst the calls for quality service at fair prices for consumers, Pitt has indicated that future price hikes is a possibility: “We have no immediate plans to raise prices. At the end of the day though, as a business, what we do is we look at operating costs, we look at the investments we need to make in our technology, our networks, our people and make business decisions. So from a business point of view, that’s how business operates.”