By Linda Straker
Dr Spencer Thomas, Chairman of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission, says that only one radio station continues to be off the air since action was taken in October 2014 to regularise radio stations in accordance with the telecommunications legislation.
“Grant Communications was the first to receive the warning to regularise and subsequently all other operations either approached us or we approached them with a view to regularising their license, as most of them were operating on expired licenses which expired in 2013,” Thomas said.
“Since that time, we have had meetings and developed a memorandum of understanding so that the necessary payment plans can be put into place, because over the years a big debt was created on the fees; they are owing us lots and lots of money,” he explained.
“I will say that the situation is under control, except for one radio which did not receive a license from us in the first place but was operating under the license agreement of another operator,” he said.
The station that is presently of the air is the Voice of St Andrew FM which was launched in September and is owned by David Allard. The station was using the assigned frequency of 104.5 FM, but according to the NTRC, that frequency was assigned to another entity. Allard claimed that he was working on a lease arrangement with the person who was assigned the frequency.
The NTRC was established pursuant to the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) Treaty (Act 30 of 2000) and the Telecommunications Act 31 of 2000 to regulate the liberalized Telecommunications market in Grenada in collaboration with the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority. Its mission is to regulate the liberalized Telecommunications sector in Grenada, to ensure fair competitive practices by Telecommunications providers and to promote and maintain high quality Telecommunications services at fair and competitive prices for consumers.