Opposition legislator Julian Fraser wants provisions to be made in the recently-drafted Consumer Protection legislation to prevent telecommunications companies from forcing customers to purchase landline services in order to get at-home internet.
“It (telecommunications) is a unitary system and no one unit is supposed to piggyback on the other. Landline and internet should be separate and distinct but they charging me for a landline that I don’t even use,” Fraser argued in last week’s sitting of the House of Assembly.
Fraser, who was making his contribution to the debate on the aforementioned legislation, singled out telecommunications giant Flow, who he said has the monopoly for landline services in the British Virgin Islands.
“How do you control that in this Bill? How do you protect the consumer from Flow and [its] landline [policy]?”
“After the hurricane, do you know what happened? The service came back up and I needed the internet. They tell you, ‘you can’t get the internet unless you get landline’. But I don’t need a landline,” Fraser said.
The legislator claimed he proceeded to explain that he only requires one of the two services and was told: “Well, just don’t use it. But you have to pay for it.”
Fraser then called for intervention from the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission — the state-owned organisation that has oversight for internet providers in the territory.
“We got to make adjustments in this thing (the legislation) if it’s not in there,” Fraser stated.
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