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OECS leaders discuss telecommunications liberalisation process
Jan 14, 2002

In April last year, five OECS governments -- St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Dominica and St. Lucia -- and Cable & Wireless signed an agreement that will lead to full liberalisation of the telecommunications sector in a year and a half. Leaders of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) on January 17 will hold a one-day meeting in Grenada to further discuss the liberalisation of the telecommunications sector.

Grenada's Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell, who is also chairman of the nine-nation grouping, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that one of their main concerns was a proposal by Cable & Wireless to raise the rates for local telephone calls.

"Cable & Wireless position is that we had agreed that rebalancing will be part of the process of the way forward.

The agreement stipulates that there be a transition period to full competition and liberalisation and identifies two major phases in the transition process. During Phase 1, there will be competition in domestic mobile/cellular, Internet services, customer premises equipment, resale of international switched minutes using Cable & Wireless' network, among other things.

Phase 2 will mark the beginning of full facilities-based international competition, officials had said at the signing ceremomy.

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