New rules and $500k fines for telecom providers

| 03/10/2016 | 21 Comments

(CNS): Local companies providing telecommunication services will be held accountable and sanctioned for outages, the Information and Communications Technology Authority (ICTA) said after creating new outage reporting rules for all its licensees that will include fines for non-compliance. The ICTA said the new development was due to ongoing complaints from consumers concerning the continued network and service outages. The ICTA pointed to a ten-hour outage on the Cable & Wireless network last month attributed to a “degradation of service” impacting long distance and local connections, which caused concern.

“After the last major disruption of service by one of our licensees, we realised that we need to officially obligate all of our licensees to notify us when there are interruptions to their service,” said Alee Fa’amoe, ICTA Managing Director.

“In the past, we’ve relied on them to do it as a matter of courtesy, which has worked reasonably well. However, we felt we had to formalise the arrangement as the number of complaints from customers continue to increase. It’s a matter of accountability to the regulator, but more importantly, the customers. Consumers are simply not receiving the expected level of service for which they pay licensees each month and licensees need to answer for that. It is our mandate to ensure that they do,” he added.

The rules document, which was sent to all licensees, outlines the specific steps that they must take to inform the authority when the company is experiencing a service or network problems, and when exactly these notifications should be issued, the ICTA said in a release Monday about the new regime.

In future, all licensees must email a notification to the authority within 60 minutes of discovering that they have experienced an outage that is at least 15 minutes long in duration and potentially affects at least 50 subscribers or special offices and facilities, such as the airports, government and emergency services or a mission-critical outage affecting national security or emergency preparedness.

Other requirements include updating the ICTA every two hours for outages lasting more than two hours, notifying the authority within an hour once the issue has been completely resolved, and submitting a detailed outage report to the ICTA no later than 14 days after the resolution of the problem.

The rules also reference potential consequences for failure to comply with the reporting obligations. Any failure to comply with the rules could render a licensee liable to a warning or fine of up to $500,000.00.

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Category: Local News, Utilities

Comments (21)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Cannot even access the FLOW website to make a payment! Come on guys.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am still waiting for the ICTA HR to get back to me on my job application. I guess a local did not get the job!

  3. Anonymous says:

    For days now we have had nothing but internet issues and FLOW has not admitted a single thing and no updates to consumers. When will the ICTA start fining them?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I switched to Digicel last week after 20 years as a faithful FLOW customer. Extremely disappointed with the complete lack of customer service from FLOW, and delightfully surprised at the warm welcome and genuine helpfulness of the Digicel team.

  5. Rightyaso says:

    Instead of complaining here do this:

    Email FLOW on describing the issue, include dates, any fault reports, and screenshots of error messages/results of any speedtests ( and provide the following details:
    Name on the account:
    Account number: you can find this on the bill
    Contact numbers: give them 2 telephone #s
    Service location: apartment/house # and street name

    Copy ICTA:

    Email your MLAs:
    Alden McLaughlin:
    Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush:

    4. Forward this message and encourage everyone you know to do this, it’s the only way they’ll know we’re serious. Switching doesn’t help.

    • Anonymous says:

      Switching DOES help! When they lose money they might finally be motivated to get their act together or get out of business. Either way!

  6. SKEPTICAL says:

    About bloody time !

  7. Anonymous says:

    And CUC? It’s very difficult conducting business when there’s no power?

  8. Anonymous says:

    The money collected in fines should not go to the government (where it will disappear), it should be given back to the customers who are affected!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    And..once again, the FLOW internet service has been extremely erratic for days, creating headaches for businesses especially. And of course, you cannot reach anyone at Customer Service to help..and there has been no public announcement about why this is happening—or that it IS HAPPENING at all. Start the fines now!

    • Anonymous says:

      It sure has been bad with FLOW. This would be a good time to issue the first fine.
      Show them ICTA is serious.

    • Operator says:

      From my troubleshooting and tests over the last 2 weeks or so, I’ve determined that it’s Cable and Wireless’ Primary DNS server: ( ) that is failing to route/direct to the intended websites/services more often than not, for whatever reason(s) at the time of detecting the fault(s). You’ve got to refresh once or twice for it to load…or flow. Lol. Or not at all.

      Whois Check:

      I was going to make someone at the ICTA aware of my findings/test results, but the last time I submitted something I got no reply for my efforts from them/head honcho. :/ I’m happy to see some efforts to address such issues are underway.

      So, my suggestion is to switch your DNS at the router level or at your computer/device IPv4 Network Settings to one of the public/free services.

      My #1 favourite is:
      Google’s DNS servers.

      2nd: Hurricane Electric DNS.

      3rd option: Level3’s DNS servers.

      Lastly, I do not suggest *OpenDNS public/free DNS servers as an alternative because they redirect your pages when a website address doesn’t load/not available/wrong address. They do some good filtering, but not worth the redirecting/slight of hand marketing/user statistics capturing that they do. IMO.

      Google does the same with capturing user stats via their DNS servers if you do use them, but since 95% of us/the world use Google Search/YouTube/Android or other products from the Alphabet Inc. company, their systems most likely already know more about you than anyone ever has…or ever will! That’s my conclusion at least.

      *OpenDNS is a great option to block those dirty websites from your office/household however. 😉

      Easy read/the more you know!

      Domain Name System (DNS) Explained:

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is one way of getting rid of the current monopoly, any replacement hiding behind the bush? Be smart LIME, straighten up or be prepared to be replaced, it’s called the new Caymankind, replacing everything form the past. Next CUC

  11. Got a bill from “Flow”this am but it said C&W Business.Have they changed names again do tell??

  12. Anonymous says:

    i made my switch to Digicel last week after over 25 years with C&W/LIME now FLOW. I would not recommend them . Digicel may not be much better but for dammed sure they are better than FLOW. Customer service is one area . I would urge the management of Digicel to pay close attention to their customer service just needs a tweaking. I am happy now with Digicel. lets see if I can stay for 25 years . LOL

    • can you hear me now? says:

      I was one of the first out of the C&W boat to a provider that was excellent. They were consumed by Digicrap and everything went downhill from there. dropped calls, spotty service, no customer service to speak of. They will give you bling and toys and promotions, but cannot actually deliver anything that matters. I finally made the switch back to Flow last year. They are better, but not by much.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Way to go! Hope the ICTA doesn’t lose its effectiveness or its Managing Director under the new bill being placed before the LA this week. The ICTA is the only answer against the bold thievery of LIME/FLOW!

  14. Anonymous says:

    So on Saturday I went to Savannah Lime to top up. Got a credit receipt. Went back when the store opened. Two guys staring at their monitors. Eventually told the top up system is “down”, took my receipt with promise to activate it as soon as it was up again. Tried calling 811 – voice says “true say de hurricane no one coming to work in Jamaica today so you might have to wait a while”. Still nothing this morning.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Lmao! FLOW will be bankrupt in about 6 months if govt is serious about the fines.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Ahhhh its about time these telecom providers actually provide good service.

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