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ECTEL moves to settle interconnection and bandwith issues

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Contact: Adhara King

Friday, February 20, 2009 – The Board of Directors of The Eastern Caribbean Telecommunication Authority (ECTEL) met on island this week to discuss issues involving telecommunication regulations.

At the meeting, matters arising out of the board’s previous meeting were up for discussion and finalization, at the board level.

Managing director of ECTEL, Embert Charles, said: “At the last meeting of the board sometime in November last year, we tried to resolve some issues relating to interconnection among service providers. In fact, interconnection is central to liberalization of telecommunications. So what we did, was to endeavour to develop a model where we would calculate the cost of interconnection between providers and hopefully get a true cost of the service to the consumer.”

That model was fully consulted on in public, Charles said, and a recommendation has been brought forward to the board for its final approval.

Those recommendations will then be taken to the Council of Minsters for their approval before being published and made into law.

“The other issue had to do with the 700 mHz band. The 700mHz band is a part of the spectrum which is now being used by telecommunications providers to provide a wide range of services including wireless broadband service and it’s a band which was previously being used in the U.S. for broadcasting, but it wasn’t used for broadcasting in the Eastern Caribbean. So for our purposes, we have to develop a policy on the use of the band.”

The policy, Charles said, will determine how many providers will be allowed to utilize the band, and how much bandwidth will be assigned to each provider.

Additionally, a major consideration is how much bandwidth will be reserved for the purpose of development, public safety and security.

Charles cited organizations such as NEMO and the police force, as beneficiaries of the use of the improved band frequency.

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