by Senator Ron Redhead
Consumer rights activist, Senator Ron Redhead, is calling on all the relevant policymakers to consider the removal or reduction of the Value Added Tax on broadband services as a means to improve the quality and access (cost) of the consumption for it in the short to medium term.
Senator Redhead stated, “the Value Added Tax (VAT) is said to be one of the main factors preventing the telecommunication Companies from pursuing necessary upgrades to their bandwidth.” The bandwidth is known as a measurement of the amount of information that can be sent between computers, through a phone line at a given time and as existing and new consumers regularly browse the internet for content, buffer (play) or upload videos and download or upload large files on or from social media platforms and the Internet in general, the internet service provider’s bandwidth comes under constant pressure to keep up and provide the necessary speeds required to meet the demand in some areas of the country. He further stated, “if it is not upgraded it results in a poor quality of service already being experienced and the high cost associated with upgrading the bandwidth can only be done, at present, if the provider transfers that cost to the consumer. So, if the VAT or associated taxes is out of the picture the company will then have the ability to upgrade without increasing the cost.”
He believes that consumers are not satisfied with broadband services and an intervention by the state or a joint effort by all the stakeholders of broadband services regionally and island-wide is needed for getting a better quality of service in Grenada.