Published On: Mon, Dec 7th, 2020

Emmanuel wants clarity from BTP on telecom quality, operations

PHILIPSBURG — Member of Parliament Christophe Emmanuel on Monday posed several questions concerning the status, current and future outlook of Bureau Telecommunications and Post (BTP) St. Maarten. Speaking during a Central Committee meeting called to discuss the finances of BTP, the MP’s questions were premised on BTP being one of the government-owned companies for which Parliament has very little information, despite years of complaints and issues raised by the public and other parties.

The MP asked about a multi-annual plan for BTP that outlines its vision and projected growth and, in the absence of such, how does the company plan for future development. While telecommunications regulators usually have sector-specific regulatory functions, the MP wants BTP to outline clearly to Parliament and the public exactly what its role is. Furthermore, a market review or a plan will assist in developing a strategy that will provide clear direction on the way forward in the areas of regulation around data, datacenters, band width, shortcomings with interference, ect.

“We see and hear the complaints from every day citizens, as well as the public and private sectors when it comes to internet and such. So the question is what exactly is BTP regulating and how can this guarantee better service,” the MP said. He added that he would like information about improving quality of service by the telecom companies to the community and how BTP intends to tackle this.

The MP also used the opportunity to query if BTP is operating on an approved budget, if the 2021 has been approved, and if not, why and how many telecom concessions holders are currently active and are up to date with payments to BTP. MP Emmanuel also sought information about BTP’s building which currently only houses BTP itself. He questioned why the space isn’t being used to assist in the loan payments of the building.

The MP said there will be many more questions to follow based on the answers he received. Minister of TEATT Ludmilla DeWeever and Executives from BTP were present in the meeting on Monday.