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JT's attitude to rules 'threatens competition'

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JERSEY Telecom's attitude to business regulation 'threatens competition' and the partnership between Flybe and Blue Islands 'requires further scrutiny', the chief executive of a competition watchdog has said.

In the Channel Islands Competition and Regulatory Authorities annual report for 2016, chief executive Michael Byrne said that JT's approach to compliance was 'simply not good enough' and that he expected them to introduce fairer pricing, after the watchdog deemed that some of the company's charges were too high.

His comments came after CICRA fined the telecoms company £3,000 last year and issued it with a public warning for failing to give sufficient notice to its competitors of the launch of its JT One product, which combines mobile, broadband and landline services in one plan.

In the report, Mr Byrne also said that the number of times JT had contravened licence regulations in the past few years had been 'unhealthy' for the Jersey telecoms market, in which JT is the dominant provider and where 'competition is fragile'.

'We have urged JT to improve its approach to compliance and, in one case, issued a fine,' said Mr Byrne.

'It is the case that other concerns expressed to us by JT's competitors were not found to have merit, or JT took swift action to remedy concerns.

'While such a response is obviously helpful, the findings against JT support the view of other telecoms operators that JT's approach to compliance is simply not good enough and threatens competition,' he added.

Mr Byrne also said in the report that CICRA would continue to monitor the new 'franchise partnership' between Flybe and Blue Islands, which came into force last year.

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