The Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), through its Consumer and Public Affairs Division, is currently engaged in a project to develop Quality of Service standards for the telecommunications sector.
This disclosure was made by Director of Consumer and Public Affairs at the OUR, Mr. Michael Bryce, at the first in a series of quarterly media briefings, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in Kingston, today (April 8).
Mr. Bryce said that the consults during the project would focus on all telecommunications services and all consumer issues in relation to quality of service standards in residential and commercial as well as retail and wholesale telecom areas.
Director General of the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), Mr. Ahmad Zia Mian, addressing the first in a series of quarterly OUR media briefings, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in Kingston, on April 8.
“A number of consultations have already been held with consumer groups and service providers and some of the matters discussed included off-net call charges, complaint handling procedures, contracts and interconnection agreements, fault repair times, frequency of faults, dropped calls, broadband internet services, dial-up internet services as well as billing and payment procedures,” he said.
He said the issue of number portability is high on the agenda of the OUR, as the Office has started the necessary proceedings to enquire into the feasibility of the introduction of the service.
“This is being done with the intention of making the necessary rules pursuant to Sections 43, 44 and 45 of the Telecommunications Act, 2000. Funding for the project is being provided in part by the Multi-Lateral Investment Fund (MIF), operated by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB),” he added.
Some of the objectives of the Act are: to promote and protect the interests of the public by promoting fair and open competition in the provision of telecommunication services; to ensure that telecommunication services are provided to persons able to meet the financial and technical obligations in relation to those services; to provide for the protection of customers; to promote the interests of customers, purchasers, and other users (including in particular, persons who are disabled or the elderly) in respect of the quality and variety of telecommunication services and equipment supplied, among others.
Director of Consumer and Public Affairs, at the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR), Mr. Michael Bryce, making a presentation at the first in a series of quarterly OUR media briefings, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel, in Kingston, on April 8.
Mr. Bryce informed that the work performed by the OUR can be classified along two broad lines, economic regulation of utilities, and protecting the public interest.
He emphasised that utility companies must take responsibility for the satisfaction and care of their own customers and should ensure that good quality service be a part of normal operations.
“In this regard the OUR will only address matters of appeal, and will at the same time work with the utilities to ensure that they put in place and have incentives to comply with rigorous customer service/consumer redress procedures,” he added.
The OUR is a multi-sector regulator responsible for the regulation of: telecommunications, electricity, water, sewerage and transportation by road, rail and ferry.