Tuesday 20 November, 2018

TATT says it cannot prevent increases in cable prices

The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) has issued a customer advisory informing that it is unable to prevent increases in cable prices.

However, TATT is urging customers to exercise their power of choice.

The Authority issued the advisory on Monday in response to enquiries by the public about the regulation of prices for telecommunications and broadcasting services.

It noted that its functions are guided by the Telecommunications Act of Trinidad and Tobago.

Section 39 of the Telecommunications Act of Trinidad and Tobago states that prices for telecommunications services such as fixed and mobile telephone, as well as internet services must be determined by providers and based on market forces of supply and demand.

TATT says it can only legally regulate the prices for telecommunication services in instances where: a provider with the largest share of the market takes advantage of that position; there is little or no competition in the market and the consumer has few or no options from which to choose from and/or; where markets display proven acts of unfair competition.

It also added that under the current legislation it is unable to prevent increases in cable prices.

“Under the existing legislation, TATT is unable to prevent price increases for subscription television services (cable and satellite television) as it falls under the under the umbrella of broadcasting services,” the Telecommunications Authority advised.

However, TATT said it has proposed amendments to the Telecommunications Act, which will provide it with the same legislative authority to regulate the prices of broadcasting services, as it currently has with telecommunications services.

In the interim, the Authority is urging customers to exercise its power of choice.

 “You the well informed consumer can impact the market through your demand signals, helping to build a healthy competitive environment. Remember: you the consumer can switch operators as you please and choose value for your money. This, in turn, can influence operators to change their prices to meet your preferences,” TATT advised.

The Authority added that it has provided support in this area with the provision of information on comparative prices in the market.

These price comparisons, it said are published quarterly on its website: www.tatt.org.tt and in the daily newspapers.



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