An appeal by Digicel to overturn a
decision by the Jamaican Court of Appeal has been overturned.
The Privy Council in London
dismissed the appeal against a decision made by the Jamaican Court of Appeal in
2007 which resulted in Digicel having to pay over US $3.7 million to LIME (then
Cable & Wireless Jamaica).
The 2007 Court of Appeal decision related
to a Determination made by the Office of Utilities Regulation on the setting of
termination rates for calls from fixed lines to mobile phones. Following the Appeal Court’s decision,
Digicel appealed to the Privy Council and this morning that appeal was
“LIME is very pleased with today’s decision of
the Privy Council which strongly supports the independence of the Jamaican
Regulator– the Office of Utilities Regulation,” said LIME CEO David Shaw.
“LIME always believed that Digicel’s case was
baseless and was just another clear demonstration of their litigious nature as
once again, they tried to use the courts to circumvent what are generally
accepted norms in the Telecommunications industry worldwide.”
LIME intervened in the litigation
because of the Company’s belief that the independence of the Regulator is
critical for the future of the Jamaican telecoms industry. LIME also maintains that it was vital for
fair competition and consumer protection that the regulator was able to step in
and regulate the rates that the regulated fixed network paid to the unregulated
mobile network for call termination. The ruling is a clear indication that – at
its highest levels – the justice system also recognises these facts.
“The real winners in this case are the Jamaican
customers and LIME will continue its efforts, in every sphere, to fight for the
rights of the customer and for a level playing field in the telecoms sector in
Jamaica,” said Geoff Houston, Country Manager for LIME in Jamaica.
“We certainly hope that the ruling
will also provide the platform for the Regulator to now appropriately address
other aspects of mobile regulation in a manner that will create a more level
playing field for the Jamaican industry, especially as it relates to the issue
of high cross network call charges.”
LIME was represented at the Privy
Council by attorneys from the firm of Myers, Fletcher & Gordon.