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Letís Talk Fuel Clause Adjustment PDF Print

Printed in the Business Monday Newspaper on October 22, 2012

Barbadians have been questioning the seemingly ever-increasing cost of electricity over the last two years and the Fair Trading Commission (Commission) and the Barbados Light & Power Co. Ltd. (BL&P) have through various media, sought to explain the reasons for the increase. As the utility regulator, the Commission is charged with establishing principles for arriving at rates to be charged as part of its regulatory function. One factor which influences the rates charged by the BL&P is the Fuel Clause Adjustment (FCA).  

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Standards of Service Review - Why it is Important PDF Print

Printed in the Business Monday Newspaper on September 17, 2012

Standards of Service regulation has been in place in Barbados since 2006. The Fair Trading Commission (Commission) conducted a review of these standards in 2009 and will be undertaking another review later this year. Both Cable & Wireless (Barbados) Limited (C&W) and the Barbados Light & Power Company Limited (BL&P) have Standards of Service agreements with the Commission. Section 3(1) of the Utilities Regulation Act Cap.282 and Section 3 of the Fair Trading Commission Act Cap.326B require the Commission to determine applicable standards of service and monitor compliance.

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Utility Complaints PDF Print

Printed in the Business Monday Newspaper on May 14, 2012

Utility Complaints Electricity, telephone and other forms of telecommunications services are utilities critical to the welfare of the general public and businesses. Disruption of service, the provision of service that is substandard, or the inability to obtain service has the potential to affect the social, economic and political development of a country, so utility companies should be focused on providing quality service and achieving a high degree of customer satisfaction. While some utilities may be more successful at this than others, inevitably there will be complaints. In Barbados, the Fair Trading Commission (Commission) currently regulates the Barbados Light & Power Co. Ltd. (BL&P) and Cable & Wireless (Barbados) Ltd. (C&W) and is mandated to address complaints pertaining to billing and service standards of these companies.

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Understanding Price Cap 2012 PDF Print

Printed in Business Monday Newspaper on April 16, 2012

 The telecommunications market in Barbados, especially the residential and business services market, is one where limited competition presently exists. In this market there are two active providers: Cable & Wireless (Barbados) Limited (C&W) and TeleBarbados. Under the Telecommunications Act, C&W is named the dominant provider of telecommunications services and therefore is subject to regulation. The list of services to be regulated is determined by the government ministry responsible for telecommunications. The other service providers do not require FTC approval of their rates. To address circumstances such as these, regulators have designed various forms of incentive-based regulation like Price Cap, in order to regulate those markets which are moving towards effective competition though not entirely there yet. The price cap regime is designed to ensure that customers continue to have access to telecommunications services at just and reasonable rates while at the same time providing C&W with incentives to operate efficiently and to be innovative in the provision of services.

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Price Cap Consultation PDF Print

Printed in Business Monday Newspaper on March 5, 2012

On February 10, 2012 the Fair Trading Commission issued a consultation paper on the review of the Cable & Wireless (Barbados) Ltd.’s (C&W) Price Cap Plan 2008 (PCP2008). The Consultation paper seeks the input of stakeholders and members of the general public on whether the PCP 2008 has achieved the objectives for which it was designed and on the proposed changes to the current Price Cap which is coming to an end on March 31, 2012. The PCP2008 governs the regulated services of C&W and this review also consists of an examination of the financial and operational performance of C&W, and changes to the market conditions over the past three-and-three-quarter (3¾) years. 

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Former Commissioner, Prof. Andrew Downes, receives a gift of appreciation from Commissioner Monique Taitt. Prof. Downes was appointed to the Commission at its inception in 2001, became Deputy Chairman in 2006 and served as a member of the telecommunications and fair competition panels. We thank him for his 15 years of service and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.