Grenada’s Prime Minister Secures Endorsement For Plan Of Action Towards Removal Of Roaming Charges In CARICOM

PR – Grenada’s Prime Minister, Dr. the Right Honourable, Keith Mitchell, has  secured the endorsement of regional leaders for the governance structure and timelines  relative to the elimination of roaming charges within CARICOM. 

Dr. Mitchell provided an update on the initiative on Monday, during the Forty-Second  Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean  Community. 

In outlining the governance framework, Dr. Mitchell explained that there are four elements  which includes a Negotiating Team comprising experienced professionals in the ICT  sector from various regional countries. The two primary telecommunications providers,  Digicel and Flow, are required to similarly identify a negotiating team to get the process  started. 

Dr. Mitchell emphasised the need for the support of regional Governments through their  ICT officials and regulators to help advance the initiative. He urged that whatever  consultations need to be held, must be done as soon as possible, and cited a need for  regulators and consumers across CARICOM to be made aware of the negotiations 

through coordinated information sharing.  

The Prime Minister said, “While the removal of roaming rates may seem to be a simple  element of the Single ICT Space, it is linked to the economic and social imperatives of  the region.” 

Dr. Mitchell also shared with his CARICOM colleagues, some pressing issues identified  by the telecommunications providers which include the high rate of taxation, unregulated  telecoms elements, limited legislative framework and competing with unregulated  services and the accompanying issues related to the Over-The-Top (OTT) services. 

These issues are expected to be considered during phase two of the negotiations, after  the roaming rates are substantively addressed.

On June 16, Prime Minister Mitchell, accompanied by his Barbadian counterpart,  Honourable Mia Amor Mottley and representatives from the CARICOM Secretariat and  the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, met with senior executives of Digicel and Flow  to initiate discussion on the removal of roaming rates and solidify a commitment to  working towards this initiative.