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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesPSC Needs to Stop Kowtowing to Phone Company

PSC Needs to Stop Kowtowing to Phone Company

It is frightening to consider the ramifications and implications of Tuesday's ruling by the Public Service Commission, which effectively blocks competition – again – for telecommunications companies that want to compete with the Innovative Telephone monopoly in the territory.
The PSC is mandated to protect members of the community – the rate payers, not the utilities they are charged with watchdogging. Instead the body acts as if it were a wholly owned subsidiary of Innovative Telephone. It ignores the spirit and intention of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 and allows Innovative to do whatever it chooses in terms of rate increases and blocking competition while providing substandard service.
It is beyond comprehension that hearing examiner Rosalie Simmonds Ballentine would suggest there is no need for more bandwidth in the territory and that the rate payers and Economic Development Commission beneficiary companies aren't interested in having readily available, high-speed internet service that works.
As for the need for competition, a simple calculation of how many times one has to dial a number on a land line, cell phone or computer to complete one phone connection would quickly provide a picture of the need for competition and increased availability of telecommunications services in this territory. That is not even to mention the time it takes to get a new phone line – sometimes months, if at all. And God help you if your phone line needs to be repaired.
Competition is healthy and in the best interest of the people whom the PSC is supposed to protect. We challenge the PSC to fulfill its mandate, not kowtow to the phone company.

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