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    • The Government will be closely monitoring the proposed acquisition agreement between Cable and Wireless Communication (CWC) and Columbus International.
    • Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, says the Government will ensure that the proposed deal will be beneficial to Jamaicans and will sustain competition in the telecommunications sector.
    • He was addressing an Information Security Management System (ISMS) workshop on Monday, November 10, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston.

    The Government will be closely monitoring the proposed acquisition agreement between Cable and Wireless Communication (CWC) and Columbus International.

    Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mining, Hon. Phillip Paulwell, says the Government will ensure that the proposed deal will be beneficial to Jamaicans and will sustain competition in the telecommunications sector.

    “I am going to be very vigilant and watchful about what happens going forward and we are going to be clear and certain that appropriate measures, appropriate agreements (and) appropriate additions will have to be done to enable that… we will safeguard competition going forward,” he said.

    He was addressing an Information Security Management System (ISMS) workshop on Monday, November 10, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in New Kingston.

    CWC, parent company for Lime in Jamaica, has announced that it intends to acquire Columbus International, which trades locally as Flow, at a cost of  US$3.025 billion.

    Minister Paulwell informed that the formal applications were received from the entities last Friday, November 7. “Both Flow and Lime have written to me, seeking approval for the transaction. I have not yet declared on it so I can’t be too definite today,” he said.

    He noted that there is space in Jamaica for a third player, and “so I have no doubt that we are going to continue to see competition and this situation will create the room.”

    The Minister, in the meantime, hailed developments in the telecommunications sector in the country, resulting from liberalization, particularly as it relates to voice calls.

    He however, expressed disappointment as it relates to the penetration of broadband services across the island.

    “We haven’t seen ubiquity in terms of broadband penetration and I think it is far too expensive…and I chastise the companies for not doing more in terms of enabling every nook and cranny of Jamaica (to) have broadband,” he said.

    He noted, however, that the Government is seeking to facilitate this by providing free broadband services in public buildings island-wide, through the Universal Service Fund and E-learning Jamaica.

    The Minister said that this will enable Jamaicans, who cannot afford the service at home, to have access at public institutions such as schools, libraries etcetera.

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