ECTEL / News / THE FEDERATION OF ST. KITTS AND NEVIS PASSES ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS (EC) ACT

THE FEDERATION OF ST. KITTS AND NEVIS PASSES ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS (EC) ACT

2 March 2021 in News
Published 03/02/21

Castries, Saint Lucia, 25th February 2021 The Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) is pleased to congratulate the Government of the Federation of St.Kitts and Nevis on being the first ECTEL Member State to pass the Electronic Communications Act (EC Act). On Thursday, 18th February 2021, the EC Act was passed by the National Assembly in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis. This is indeed a significant achievement for our regulatory system!

The Act is expected to be transmitted to His Excellency the Governor General for the Royal Assent, and then forwarded to the Government Printery for publication in the Official Gazette. These actions will ensure that the EC Act is in force in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.

The process of replacing the Telecommunications Acts in force in the ECTEL Contracting States with the new Electronic Communications Bill (EC Bill) began in 2009. The EC Bill includes, among other things, provisions to broaden the scope of regulations from telecommunications to Electronic Communications, and to address matters including but not limited to: mergers and acquisitions within the ECTEL Contracting States, preservation of an open Internet with the adoption of Net Neutrality provisions, the establishment of the NTRCs (National Telecommunications Regulatory Commissions) as body corporates, the setting up of a tribunal independent of the NTRC, to hear unresolved disputes between telecommunications providers and customers, and the inclusion of more penalties for breach of the legislation.

The ECTEL Directorate wishes to express deep gratitude to the current Chairperson of ECTEL’s Council of Ministers, the Honourable Akilah Byron-Nisbett, for following through on her commitment to ensure promulgation of the EC Act. Honourable Byron-Nisbett was appointed as Member of Council for the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis in June 2020.

We are very pleased to express special thanks to the previous Council Member for St. Kitts and Nevis – Attorney General – Honourable Vincent Byron Jr., for his dedication in laying the groundwork to ensure promulgation of the EC Act.

ECTEL also thanks everyone who contributed over the years to the finalisation of the Electronic Communications Bill (EC Bill) – the Legislative Drafters in the Attorney General’s Chambers in our Member States, the Board of Directors and Council of Ministers for their guidance, the National Telecommunications Regulatory Commissions, stakeholders including service providers, the public at large for their invaluable participation in the consultative process on the EC Bill, and our dedicated staff at ECTEL who worked tirelessly to ensure the finalisation of this important piece of legislation.

The ECTEL Directorate looks forward to the promulgation of the EC Act in the other Member States of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as a matter of urgency, so that the ECTEL regulatory system can have a more robust mechanism for regulating the activities of electronic communications providers/operators, and ensuring protection of consumers’ rights.

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