Today, the Turks and Caicos Islands Telecommunications Commission (the “Commission”) released its Fixed Services Price Regulation Review Decision in which it decided to eliminate the vast majority of the pricing regulations currently applied to LIME’s fixed telecom services. As a result, LIME will now have the flexibility to set prices for most of its existing fixed services in response to market pressures as well as introduce new fixed services and service bundles without seeking advance approval from the Commission.
The fixed telecom services covered by the decision include LIME’s residential and business fixed local access services, domestic and international fixed calling services as well as domestic and international private leased circuit services. The Commission’s decision to lift pricing regulations on LIME’s fixed services is subject to the following conditions, which require that LIME continue to provide stand-alone basic:
- residential fixed access at a price no higher than the current rate of $20 per month;
- business fixed access at a price no higher than the current rate of $45 per month; and
- fixed calling service at prices no higher than the current rate of 15¢/minute for fixedto- fixed calls and (as of 31 March 2013) 30.75¢/minute for fixed-to-mobile calls.
The Commission conducted a comprehensive public consultation process over the course of the last year to review the existing price regulations applying to LIME’s fixed services. As part of this process, the Commission collected and assessed an extensive set of data and information on fixed telecom service markets in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Based on its findings, the Commission determined that LIME’s retail fixed services are currently or will be subject to sufficient competition to protect the interests of users and that refraining from regulating these services would not unduly impair the establishment or continuance of competitive markets for the fixed services in question, subject to LIME’s compliance with the three above-noted conditions. As well, the Commission considers that its decision to eliminate most existing regulatory constraints on LIME’s fixed services is consistent with the telecommunications policy objectives for the Turks and Caicos Islands – namely to promote competition, efficiency in the provision of telecom services, and the widespread availability of telecom services at affordable prices.
This Decision comes into effect on 1 April 2013. The Commission intends to review the three above-noted conditions no later than 1 April 2017.