PM Mitchell leads initiative to eliminate the roaming charges in CARICOM

The Prime Minister of Grenada - Dr Keith Mitchell, is leading the initiative to eliminate the roaming charges for the people travelling within the CARICOM region.

Grenada: The Prime Minister of Grenada – Dr Keith Mitchell, is leading the initiative to eliminate the roaming charges for the people travelling within the CARICOM region.

The elimination of roaming rates was identified as an activity for CARICOM Heads of Government some years ago but the progress on the initiative has been slow.

PM Mitchell, who has leading responsibility in the CARICOM Quasi Cabinet for Science and Technology and Information and Communications, is now encouraging that effort and is endeavouring to agree on this initiative quickly.

He stated, “I want to indicate that there is a desire, given the history of discussions on this topic, to facilitate negotiations and conclude within the shortest possible time, ideally in 3 months or less, to implement it before the end of 2021.”

He further stated that the service providers would not suffer, and the whole CARICOM region will appreciate this initiative. PM Mitchell wants to build a “roam-like-at-home” arrangement relevant to what the European Union has made and abolish roaming charges on voice, data and text messages.

This initiative will only be beneficial to CARICOM citizens, not to the international travellers.

The prime minister further noted that removing high roaming charges would help unleash creativity among the region’s youth, boost greater collaboration, and create high-quality employment opportunities, and this initiative would also send a great sign to Caribbean citizens that leaders are dedicated to securing cost-effective access to the Internet.

The Prime Minister of Barbados – Mia Mottley, accompanied PM Mitchell and representatives from the CARICOM Secretariat and the Caribbean Telecommunications Union, who met recently with Digicel and Cable and Wireless and addressed the issue.

Barbados prime minister also supported the initiative and stated that this is one of the important pillars the region views at this time to unleash growth.

Also, Cable and Wireless and Digicel representatives have shown their willingness to work with CARICOM in considering the removal of roaming charges and creating a win-win partnership.