Telecommunication Minister says he has no authority to address internet restrictions

In light of several complaints that internet service providers are placing restrictions on certain apps, The Minister of Telecommunication the Hon. Melford Nicholas says he has no authority to address the issue.

Minister Nicholas said that although he is aware of the practice, he unable to provide an alternative option.

“The policy makers myself included are purely of the view that when a person subscibes to data service from one of these carriers that they are entitled to use the service as they see fit and what we are against is the restriction of services based on the way the operators are seeing it, certainly here in Antigua and until we have gotten to the point of the new telecommunications bill, my hands are tied, At this current moment I’m aware that operators are impairing the quality of service, but I do that have the authority by law to provide an alternate course.”

The issue known as Net Neutrality means that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.

According to the telecoms Minister they are unable to control the restrictions however the government is currently in the process of changing the legal and regulatory framework with the telecommunications bill.

The Telecommunications Bill is expected to be tabled in Parliament shortly.

News Reporter

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