Telecommunications firm LIME which is transitioning to FLOW, is this afternoon pushing back against suggestions from Opposition Deputy Spokesman on Digital Economy Development, Floyd Green, that the decision by Telecoms Minister, Phillip Paulwell, to grant an extension in the implementation of number portability is a disappointment.
The planned implementation date was set for May 31 but 2-days before that date, LIME said it wouldn’t be able to meet the deadline.
A stinging column in the last Friday’s Gleaner by Mr. Green, has forced LIME to once-again defend its decision to ask for a delay in the implementation of number portability.
Green wrote that the missed deadline is a disappointment and has become part of Minister Paulwell’s legacy — pointing out that five deadlines have now been missed stretching back to December 2012.
In a release, LIME says it asked for the 22-day extension of the last deadline of May 31 this year because it was acting in the best interests of the public.
The company says the extension will allow for crucial tests to ensure that customers do not experience unnecessary disruptions when the service becomes a reality.
LIME says any characterization of Minister Paulwell’s extension as a failure is inappropriate.
The company says it will meet the new launch date — set for next week.
LIME is also at odds with Mr Green for question the decision by Minister Paulwell to approve the merger between LIME and FLOW.
Green in his column said the approach that Minister Paulwell used to approved the merger wasn’t forensic enough and allows for supremacy of a monopoly.
Mr. Green said while the Opposition welcomes the merger, many issues surrounding the acquisition still lingers.
For example, he questioned whether Minister Paulwell could’ve adequately weighed the pros and cons of the merger within the 2-months of its requested approval.
He pointed out that in other Caribbean countries, more measured and cautious approaches were used before the approval.
St. Lucia he says had a public consultation while in Barbados, the merger was approved subject to the divestment of overlapping assets.
Green questioned why the Barbados model wasn’t used in Jamaica in a bid to preserve competition.
In its response, LIME says it is asking not to be drawn into political or special interest debates.
It says when the Minister granted the approval, he observed the provisions of the Telecoms Act and engaged the regulators.