Wheatley Condems Government for Usurping OUR

Release Date: 
Monday, December 8, 2014 - 15:30

Opposition Spokesman on ICT and Digital Society Development, Dr. Andrew Wheatley, is today condemning technology minister Phillip Paulwell for statements attributed to him in a December 3 story published by the Gleaner, indicating the Government's intention to support the stance taken by the Telecom providers to block certain VoIP services.

Dr. Wheatley stated: “The Opposition is dismayed at this apparent unilateral move on the part of Minister Paulwell. In the first instance, it appears to be an attempt by him to usurp the authority of the Office of Utilities Regulation which is at this time intervening following the row sparked by action taken by telecoms providers to block VoIP services over their networks.”

Dr. Wheatley continued: “To the best of my knowledge the OUR has yet to make a ruling on this matter so it is unacceptable for the Minister to attempt to force the hand of the regulator in this way in this issue, and it again shows the Ministers wanton disregard for the authority for the regulators”

The Opposition Spokesman went on to say: “This latest move by the Minister would also be in direct conflict with the Government's stated support of the principles of Net Neutrality which is at the heart of this impasse”.

In commenting further, Dr. Wheatley said: “Minister Paulwell’s utterances further contradicted his statements relating to encouraging programmers, innovation and economic growth, support of such actions will in fact stifle growth and investment in the local ICT developer ecosystem as applications and start-ups that are subject to the restrictions that are to be imposed will not have a fair chance to compete in such a highly regulated environment.”

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