Jamaica’s Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) has instructed Digicel and Flow to improve what it describes as ‘persistent quality of service (QoS) issues’, such as data and voice service interruption, dropped calls and calls not being initiated. OUR bosses met with executives from both service providers earlier this month to express ‘serious concerns about the current service levels, and what appears to be a lack of diligence in their resolution’. Both companies admitted that the steep and rapid rise in the demand and use of data – which requires constant adjustments – had hampered their service delivery, conceding that they have not been sharp and clear in their customer communication (i.e. a lack of service interruption notifications and updates on service restoration times).
For its part, Digicel blamed the QoS lapses on a modernisation programme which commenced two years ago, while Flow claimed that the incidents were isolated and not related to a general failure of its telecoms infrastructure. Flow also cited vandalism and ongoing road works as mitigating factors.
Despite OUR’s intervention, it appears that the watchdog is currently hamstrung in terms of its actual enforcement powers. OUR conceded that it will continue ‘to push for powers to quickly impose and enforce sanctions for customer service breaches in any future enactment or amendment of ICT legislation’.