Wheatley Concerned About Move to Block VoIP Apps like Skype & Viber

Release Date: 
Friday, July 4, 2014 - 14:00

‪Opposition Spokesperson on ICT, Digital Society Development and the Environment, Dr. Andrew Wheatley, is expressing concern regarding the recently announced action of telecommunications providers LIME and Digicel to block the use of certain VoIP applications, like Skype & Viber, on their networks.

Dr. Wheatley said “this latest action by the telecoms providers is setting a dangerous precedent and could have an adverse effect on a country trying to encourage greater use of ICTs for economic development”.

The Opposition Spokesperson pointed out that in this very same week, the relevant Minister of State had spoken about the importance of acceleration of entrepreneurial efforts in the ICT sector.  Dr Wheatley said “The Government needs to clearly state how it intends to create the needed frameworks to encourage ICT development while permitting the actions announced by the telecoms companies.”

He continued to state that the OUR’s silence was also of concern.  ‪"The Government and the OUR need to say how they view the rights of consumers who have paid for access to mobile & data networks to use applications, and then see their access and use of these applications, which have become so integral to everyday life and day to day communication, being limited in this manner.”

‪Dr. Wheatley concluded by explaining that "The current situation highlights the need for the Government to accelerate the drafting and tabling of the promised ICT Act which would no doubt address issues of  this nature.  In its current form, the legislation allows telecoms providers to take advantage of existing gaps, so this needs to be corrected”.

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