The Falkland Islands Government, FIG, has made a statement regarding the recent publication of the Telecoms Regulator’s report in relation to the performance of Sure, in respect of the broadband service, particularly its compensation methodology when customer satisfaction has not been delivered.
FIG admits to have learnt a number of lessons at an early stage of the new telecoms licence and regrets that all of the improvements in service have not been delivered as planned.
However FIG is not in a position to over-ride the views of the independent regulator, nor should it seek to interfere. But FIG recognizes Sure’s compensation to customers for the failure to meet key performance indicators, service disruption and poor customer experience between 7th April and 12th June 2017.
FIG is content with the methodology used by the Regulator to calculate a proportionate penalty and comparison with the compensation provided to customers by Sure. It notes the decision by the Regulator not to impose an additional fine on this occasion.
It is the view of FIG that this compensation should have been provided to customers much earlier. Notwithstanding the views set out in the report of the Regulator on the level of compensation, FIG believes the compensation could have been greater.
The Government asks that Sure and the Regulator work together and look again at whether the offer is fair and proportionate for business users who were not able to operate properly. FIG believes that this issue should be recognized and further investigated if evidence is provided by individual businesses to the Regulator.
Whilst it was relatively early in the establishment of the Regulators office when the breach of KPIs occurred, and soon after the establishment of the Communications Bill and Licence, it is important to strengthen and develop the compensation methodology, and important to establish access to independent performance data aimed at measuring customer experience including line speed monitoring.
The Falkland Islands Government recognises that without the establishment of the Communications Bill and the associated licence, and establishment of the office of the Regulator, it would have been difficult to hold the monopoly provider to account.
Prior to the commencement of the new licence FIG agreed to establish the office of the Regulator and it is very disappointed and sorry that the Regulators Office is still not fully established. It is important to move more quickly to establish the capacity to effectively regulate and maintain the confidence of the community.
The new full time Regulator took up her post on 19 September 2017.
The Attorney General has been able to perform the role of Regulator with the support of both internal administrative and policy support and external technical capacity from consultants and partners.
The Government supports the future recommendations made by the Regulator:
1. Independent validation of agreed information provided by Sure. The Regulator is considering a passive monitoring of some Sure information to assist in assessing the consumer experience. This may give reassurance to Sure and the consumer that an objective benchmark is available. The measurement of variations in service such as the slowing down of service during periods of high network utilization must be clear. This has a significant impact on consumer satisfaction and clarity on the level of service both against the KPI and normal operation must be properly considered.
2. That Sure and the Regulator agree on how the information gathered under recommendation 1 is interpreted. The information must then be presented in an easily understandable and accessible way so that consumers are able to judge performance objectively. Consideration should be given to using international benchmarks of Quality of Service targets to properly inform customers of the service being received.
3. Sure to provide reassurance to the Regulator that the relationships with TPS are robust and effective.
4. The Regulator and Sure to consider the impact of disruption on business and if the issue of business resilience should be considered in the future. (Penguin News)