by Linda Straker
The management and or operators of a number of radio stations in Grenada are now regularizing themselves in compliance with the Telecommunications Act and as part of the process are being asked to “cease and desist” on-air operations.
The latest radio station asked to “cease and desist” broadcasting on its frequency is RealFM which operates on 91.9 from the parish of St Patrick. Andre Donald who manages the radio station said, based on how the request was made, he did not even have an opportunity to explain the circumstances to his audience.
“I went off the air on Sunday after receiving a call from Dwayne Noel, a representative of the National Telecommunications and Regulatory Commission (NTRC), regarding my status of the frequency which I am using to broadcast. I shut down and did not even explain why we were going off the air — people basically discovered silence when they tuned in,” Donald said.
He explained that the station had permission from Government to be on the air before the NTRC was established, and admitted that although he has had communications over the years regarding his operations, circumstances did not result in the regularization of the station in accordance with the telecommunications legislation.
Donald further admits, since the Commission sent the “cease and desist” letter to CHIME FM in October, he went to the NTRC office and filled out the required application forms so that the station would be regularised in accordance with the regulations of the Act.
RealFM became the third radio station which was asked by NTRC to shut down its operations because of non-compliance with the law. The first was CHIME FM which is operated by George Grant, and the second was Voice of St Andrew which is operated by David Allard. They are all described by the NTRC as operating illegally because they did not have authorised licences to broadcast.
At present there are 20 radio stations operating in Grenada, and the NTRC has explained that its now focusing on bringing all of them in compliance with the Telecommunications Act. A radio station owner can be fined as much as EC$1 million by the court for illegal broadcasting.