The Telecommunications Authority (TATT) has issued a statement saying it can no longer forbear where there's a continuing breach by persons who are unable to meet the financial and technical obligations to the service.
Although TATT does not name any particular entity, it refers to a statement it made in February with regards to the financial obligations of those operating broadcast licenses.
In February, WIN Communications had been identified as having run into problems with TATT for failing to meet its financial obligations.
The TATT statement stops short of saying that it is now moving to shut the station down.
The following is TATT's statement:
"The Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (“the Authority”) wishes to advise the public that:
1. The Authority is mandated by the Telecommunications Act, Chapter 47:31 (“the Act) to, inter alia,
— regulate the use of the spectrum in order to promote the economic and orderly utilisation of frequencies for the operation of all means of telecommunications and to recover the cost incurred in the management of the spectrum;
— enable the efficient use of the spectrum;
— promote and protect the interests of the public by—
(i) promoting access to telecommunications services;
(ii) ensuring that services are provided to persons able to meet the financial and technical obligations in relation to those services;
(iii) providing for the protection of customers;
(iv) promoting the interests of customers, purchasers and other users in respect of the quality and variety of telecommunications services and equipment supplied;
— make recommendations to the Minister on the granting of concessions and licences and monitor and ensure compliance with the conditions set out therein;
— collect all fees, including concession and licence fees, and any other charges levied under the Act.
2. In February 2016, the Authority issued a Public Notice advising all Free-to-Air (FTA) Radio and Television broadcasters that failure to meet the requirement of settling their arrears due to the Authority prior to the expiry of the concessions and licences would result in the broadcasting service no longer being authorised for transmission.
3. The Authority has exercised considerable forbearance and exhausted all avenues in its attempt to bring certain entities into compliance with the Act and in particular to recover from these entities the concession and license fees which have accrued and have now fallen into significant arrears.
4. The Authority acknowledges the social, cultural and other contributions these entities would have made by virtue of their programming. This notwithstanding, the Authority has a statutory duty to manage the utilisation of the spectrum fairly and equitably and ensure that there is parity and balance in the manner in which it treats with all of its stakeholders.
5. The Authority is also unable to forbear where there is a continuing breach by persons who are unable to meet the financial and technical obligations in relation to their services."
TAKE NOTICE THAT ALL persons who continue to OPERATE a public telecommunications network or broadcasting service, contrary to the provisions of the Telecommunications Act Chap. 47:31 are hereby required to immediately CEASE AND DESIST failing which the Authority will be constrained to take any and all steps available to it to compel them to so do.
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