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NTRC awaits application for increase from Karib Cable

NTRC awaits application  for increase from Karib Cable

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Subscribers to cable provider Karib Cable may have to wait as long as three months before they know whether they would have to pay more for digital cable services.{{more}}

While Apollo Knights, head of the National Telecommunications Regulations Commissions (NTRC), says that it may take that long before a decision is made, General Manager of Karib Cable, Ian Mulhern, says he is hoping for a speedy solution to the situation.

Just over one month ago, Mulhern’s company introduced digital cable to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and indicated that the monthly fee would increase from EC$75 to $89.99.

This was put on hold when the NTRC informed that public that fees cannot be increased until an application was made to them and in turn approved.

Knights, speaking to SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday, June 30, said that to date, an application for an increase had not been made by the cable company.

“After that application is made, the NTRC may have to undergo a consultation process where we speak to consumers,” Knights noted.

“After that we will inform the public of the process… this whole process can take as long as three months – maybe more, maybe less.”

The NTRC head said that this is the first time such a process is being undertaken and he expects a favourable resolution which will be beneficial to the service provider and consumers.

Mulhern, too, is confident of a satisfactory outcome.

He expects that as soon as an official application is filed with the NRTC, they will work diligently to have the situation resolved.

Mulhern said that he is confident that an increase will be approved seeing that the company’s rates had not increased for 15 years.

“We have moved from about 30 channels to hundreds over the years and with the introduction of digital cable to the service, it’s only right to ask for an increase.”

Mulhern hopes that the consultation process takes less time than estimated by Knights, saying that he does not expect the consultations to be a drawn out process.

When asked if the cable boxes which deliver digital cable to homes will be removed if there is no increase, Mulhern said that he does not expect that this will happen, seeing that it is just another service that the company is providing.

“The price increase we are requesting is not just about the digital cable and the boxes, it is also about the 15 years of service, more channels and cost that we have absorbed over the years.”

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