Govt of Saint Kitts and Nevis adopts Electronic Communication Bill 2021

22 Feb 2021

The Federal Parliament of Saint Kitts and Nevis formally adopted the Electronic Communications Bill, 2021 – a bill to provide for regulating an electronic communications network and an electronic communications service and for related matters – on 18 February. The country’s Minister of Health, ICT, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship and Talent Development, Akilah Byron-Nisbett, a key proponent of the legislation, outlined its objectives in a speech to the chamber: ‘Mr Speaker, the entry into force of the EC bill in the Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis will ensure a wider range of regulations from telecommunications to “electronic communications” and will also address issues, but not limited to: principles of fair competition; change of ownership of electronic communications companies within the [Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority] ECTEL contracting states; universal service and access; maintaining an open internet with the adoption of principles of net neutrality; the establishment of the [National Telecommunications Regulatory Commissions] NTRCs as corporations; the establishment of an independent tribunal of the NTRC to hear unresolved disputes between licensees and customers, and the inclusion of more fines for, among other things, violating the law.’

Minister Byron-Nisbett noted that a critical part of the bill is implementing a robust regulatory framework that promotes and preserves a vibrant sector, and pointed out that it will serve as a ‘valuable piece of legislation for the Federation’s electronic communications sector because the EC bill’s objectives are to ensure that market failure is avoided to promote effective competition. The most important, in my opinion, is to protect consumer interests’.

Saint Kitts and Nevis, ECTEL Saint Kitts and Nevis