Telecoms giant confirms deal with Antigua and Barbuda government

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Digicel has confirmed putting aside its battle with the Government of Antigua and Barbuda, which it had accused of seeking to confiscate some of its high-speed spectrum for redistribution to state-owned rival Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA).

In a statement yesterday, following the government’s announcement of a deal, Digicel said an “amicable agreement” had been reached with regards to the spectrum arrangements “to enhance telephony and Internet services in the country.”

While Digicel did not detail the specifics of the agreement regarding the redistribution of some of the 850-megahertz and 900-megahertz bands, the government did so Wednesday evening and again Thursday morning at the post-Cabinet press briefing.

The government stated, “Digicel will transfer 2 megs of the 850 band and 9 megs of the 900 band to APUA. Digicel will also discontinue its lawsuit against the Government and APUA. The APUA will now seek a final settlement with Cable and Wireless/FLOW for transfer of 3 megs of the 850 band. APUA/PCS will then be able to offer more services to its growing customer base.”

When contacted about the government’s announcement, Digicel’s head of group communication, Antonia Graham confirmed it was true. A subsequently issued press statement added that Digicel “welcomes this positive engagement and believes this signals a new era of constructive relations with the Government and will benefit citizens, businesses as well as the Government and Government services in Antigua & Barbuda.”

Digicel also said it was happy to have an agreement for the “automatic continuity” of its licences beyond 2021 which would allow it to confidently move forward with investment plans in Antigua and Barbuda.

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