Hefty fines imposed to Sint Maarten Cable TV – revocation of license looms

Bureau Telecommunications and Post St. Maarten (BTP) imposed administrative fines to Caribbean Teleview Services d.b.a. St. Maarten Cable TV for substantial license violations.

For over 10 months the Quality of Service standards of Cable TV have not been met, island wide coverage is no longer guaranteed, the license holder is not adhering to instructions of the regulator post Irma, and the company failed to comply with various license conditions and directives as stipulated in their Ministerial Decree (MB). The regulator counted no less than 14 violation for which the license holder has been sanctioned for.

The Director of BTP, Mr. Anthony Carty, also calls it worrisome that due process has never been followed when Sint Maarten Cable TV was allegedly acquired by a Local Telecom Operator. Failure to comply with stipulations set forth in the law, regulations and licenses, may result in situations whereby the employees and customers of the license holder are placed at risk, as continuity of service is no longer guaranteed. Carty explained: “Telecommunications is a critical service for the functioning of a society and economy. We therefore believe that business continuity in our industry should always be of the highest priority. To safeguard the quality of service of Sint Maarten Cable TV and the position of their subscribers we’ve decided to issue administration fines for each license violation”.

Full compliance from the license holder is now expected, and island wide services needs to be restored as soon as possible. BTP duly informed the Management of Cable TV that it holds the right to issue new fines or even suspend or revoke the licenses of Sint Maarten Cable TV if the violations are not resolved and deemed to be of a structural nature.

Carty continued: “The availability of reliable TV services on the island has our fullest attention. We see TV as a very powerful tool to relay information to our citizens – especially during the Atlantic Hurricane Season-, but also to educate people and provide entertainment and relaxation. It’s of great importance that Island wide telecom services, – included but not limited to TV services – need to return to normalcy. For that reason other entities within the Telecom industry, such as Internet Service Providers and Fixed & Mobile providers are also subjected to in-depth network assessments of BTP. We are working diligently with the Minister of TEATT and all other stakeholders involved to get improved services on Sint Maarten within short”.