APUA to benefit from changes to Telecommunications Bill

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By Latrishka Thomas

The battle over the digital spectrum is far from being resolved as the Government is now proposing to make changes to the proposed Telecommunications Bill that will benefit the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA).

The goal is to obtain protection for the local telecommunications company to prevent it from being placed at a disadvantage by foreign companies. That is according to Senior Counsel Anthony Astaphan who is among a number of individuals who have been tasked with the exercise.

“I agree with the position that there should be some protection because I have noticed coming from the Privy Council in some one of the jurisdictions that they accept that Parliament or the Government may make decisions to ensure that private enterprises or public enterprises that are locally owned are not wiped out by the competition,” Astaphan said on another radio station.

“So that is something that, with the Prime Minister’s specific permission, we will spend the next five to seven days looking at to see how best we can reformulate some of the provisions to give some protection to our local asset, which is APUA, and not open it up to the extent that it may or may not be unfairly prejudiced by having to comply with certain things.”

The proposed changes which are subject to Parliamentary approval, will allow for the sharing or distribution of the digital space while leaving room for compensation if necessary.

Read more in today’s paper

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