TelEm Group says it is taking “very seriously” the actions being taken by the Bureau of Telecommunications and Post (BTP) to impose fines on the company for allegedly not providing adequate service to St. Maarten Cable TV’s paying customers. – TelEm Group purchased the local cable company in January last year and recently obtained court permission to dismiss 17 workers remaining in the company paying them termination packages.
According to the BTP, TelEm Group has failed to deliver on service and is being fined for a number of infractions required under Cable TV’s operating concession, however in a response this week, TelEm Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mr. Kendall Dupersoy, said he was “most surprised” by the public pronouncements of the BTP, noting that he is greatly troubled at what the regulator’s motivation would be.
He said in any event TelEm Group has turned to the courts to reject the BTP fines and will make its own case before a judge.
“It is not a secret to the BTP that our hands have been literally tied so far as restoration of the Cable TV infrastructure, because of the extent of the damage in the first place, and secondly because of various reasons connected with the court case while it was ongoing,” said Mr. Dupersoy.
“The public and customers of St. Maarten Cable TV are aware of these developments through the various media outlets and also directly by us and when we have made good on credit payments to customers who have not been receiving the service they paid for,” continued Mr. Dupersoy.
He said in the same way the public and customers are aware, so too must the regulator, therefore he questions their threatened action against TelEm Group and also their motivation for wanting to remove the Cable TV license from the company if their intention is to secure cable TV services to customers generally.
“The general public and Cable TV customers should we aware that we have addressed the matter of Cable TV services on the island with the Shareholder of TelEm Group, as recently as July 5th, when we outlined all the issues we are having and how we intend to move forward to fully provide service to customers now that matters have been cleared up within the courts,” continued the CEO.
He said part of the information to the Shareholder in actual fact was TelEm Group’s plan to replace the major part of the outdated Cable TV system with a more modern IPTV service that will utilize a brand new fiber optic network that is being laid islandwide by TelEm Group offering more bandwidth to customers than has ever been available on St. Maarten with the potential for many more services than presently available from St. Maarten Cable TV’s infrastructure alone.
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