WRONG_WOEID WRONG_WOEID

APUA Accused of Erecting Towers Illegally

APUA towerAntigua St John's - The Ministry of Information Technology has accused the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) of erecting 18 new transmission towers without the approval or oversight of the Telecommunications Division or the DCA.

In a letter dated June 2 2008, Telecommunications Officer Clement Samuel alerted the then director of Town and Country Planning at the DCA, Denzel Solomon, that “any new requests to erects towers or any other telecommunication facilities must first have the authorisation of the Telecommunications Division before they are given approval by your Authority.” This letter was copied to Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer and Minister of Information Technology Dr Edmond Mansoor.

Eighteen months after that letter was sent, on December 10, 2009, Samuel again contacted Solomon to clarify the previous letter.

He reiterated the statement from his previous letter, and alerted the DCA director that several new towers and facilities had been erected without the Telecommunications Division being notified. This construction of new towers had allegedly caused interference issues for other providers, and resulted in “substantial losses in revenue".

This letter, also copied to the PM and Minister of IT, was also sent to the chairman of the DCA, Sylvester Brown, CEO of LIME Davidson Charles, Telecommunications Manager for APUA Curtis Mckay, then Digicel General Manager Darren Derrick, and Managing Director of ACT Salomon Doumith.

On December 15, 2009, the director of the DCA acknowledged both of Samuel's letters, and said the DCA was not aware of any new towers being erected during the time period specified in the previous letter.


The director asked for the Telecommunications Division's assistance in identifying any “areas or location to which you have privy to information regarding the erection of Transmission Towers.”

During a press conference on Friday, Dr Mansoor said he has requested a report from Acting DCA Director Fredrick Southwell about these 18 transmission towers.

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20 Comments In This Article   

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OO7

#20 tenman » 2011-08-21 15:30

OO7 if you are correct, this again is an example of how they destroy value. Again it comes down to waste caused by bad management. The other issue is government should not be using tax payers moneys to compete against tax payers. If there will be an import dur=ty waiver it should apply to all. The cell phone tower issue shows that government is not even fulfilling its role as being regulator: Towers go up without permission; We have to wait for a PAHO rep to do a study, something which I beleive government should be itself doing periodically.

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tenman

@ tenman

#19 OO7 » 2011-08-21 13:53

tenman can explain how APUA althought operating tax free...pays no import taxes...even on the cellphones that they sells to the general public and yet cannot make a profit? Lime and digicel enjoys no such luxury. when they imports their phones for sale to the public they pay all import taxes and yet are able to do better than APUA who get their cellphones 100% import taxes free.
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OO7

an exercise in value destruction

#18 tenman » 2011-08-21 12:21

It makes no sense to own something that you continually pay for yet the company , began in 1973, continues to make a loss. What we are paying for is inefficiency. We are better off taking the cash useing it for toilet paper. APUA is highly inefficient and nostalgia over "ownership" does not change the fact. There is a way to privatize APUA where the majority of ownership stays local. Instead of having statutory corps buying bonds from central government, which are never redeemed, have them instead invest in places like APUA. Let’s examine the LUCELEC model and see how we can use it here. They pay less for electricity than we do, yet the company made 40 million in profits before taxes in 2010 (seewww.lucelec.com/site/investor_information/PDFs/LUCELEC%202010%20Annual%20Report.pdf page 27) . After taxes it made 29.2 million. LUCELEC's system losses for 2010 was 9.46% whereas for APUA it was almost 3 times at much at 24% (see www.Caribarena.com/antigua/component/attachments/download/10.html page 13. Its claimed that we own APUA but when was the last time we were shown financial statements for this company?
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tenman

Mansoor really hatest APUA

#17 Dr N » 2011-08-21 11:05

I was trying not to believe it but it is now clear as night and day: Dr Mansoor hates APUA and loves Digicel and LIME. And he is not even elected. The PM better wake up and smell the coffe. Then again it might be too late.
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Dr N

APUA silence is deafening

#16 Common sense » 2011-08-21 07:13

So Esworth and Curtis when do you think you will respond. You were probably finished work already on Friday when the press conference was held at 2pm. Or maybe you don't think you need to respond as APUA are above the people of Antigua. Come on, if you are real men and have nothing to hide why don't you come out and say it! Your silence is deafening but I am not surprised.
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Common sense

Stop the foolishness

#15 APUA customer » 2011-08-21 07:00

When is the PM going to do something about APUA. I know a lot of APUA staff and they do their best in difficult circumstances. The problem is at the top clearly. Come on Esworth and Curtis, do this country a favor and allow proper and proven leaders take over the running of APUA. They can't do a worse job than you two. Come on people of Antigua, we should march and protest to demand better.
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APUA customer

@ Proud Antiguan

#14 Antiguan by birth » 2011-08-21 06:44

Hey proud Antiguan maybe LIME and DIGI can afford to buy permission, even if their istallations are substandard.
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Antiguan by birth

Typical

#13 Proud Antiguan » 2011-08-20 22:48

Hey Antiguan by birth maybe it is because lime and Digi have permission? Ever think of that!
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Proud Antiguan

Typical

#12 Proud Antiguan » 2011-08-20 22:43

Why do APUA think they are above the law? They seem to not answer to anyone! We have an island wide electricity outage this week for hours. Our electricity is the most expensive and my bill doubled last month for no reason. My water can be so dirty i can't even wash me clothes! Now they put up loads of towers and they don't even have permission. Time for change at APUA.
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Proud Antiguan

Man sore shame

#11 Antiguan by birth » 2011-08-20 20:24

Why is the Minister attacking APUA and not LIME and DIGI ?
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Antiguan by birth

Flush This Out

#10 Southern Beauty » 2011-08-20 19:23

Did anyone ask the Minister how many towers were erected WITH permission, and by which entities within the same time?
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Southern Beauty

Isn't APUA also Government?

#9 Southern Beauty » 2011-08-20 19:10

Amazing how an un-elected government Minister is so blatantly trying at any cost to destroy a statutory body and the government does not about it. Seems like the goal post keeps moving, but only against APUA. Hope they realize Digicel money can't pay our electric bills when APUA telecoms is toppled! The Minister was quick to post the letters he sent, too bad he didn't realize it made the ministry look foolish. Please see if he can also provide the legislation that gives his ministry the authority he totes.
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Southern Beauty

Question?

#8 Objectivity » 2011-08-20 17:48

Who is the Minister of Miss-Information working for?
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Objectivity

sure mr. Mansoor

#7 D. T » 2011-08-20 15:09

that man will do anything for APUA to fail.
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D. T

Who

#6 St. Philip North » 2011-08-20 14:14

who is APUA, who is DCA, who is TELECOM MINISTRY. THEY ALL BELONGS TO GOVERNMENT AND THE PEOPLE OF ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA, WHO HAS THE POWER OVER WHO.
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St. Philip North

RE: APUA Accused of Erecting Towers Illegally

#5 Antiguan Abroad » 2011-08-20 12:38

Are these structures all located on government land, or are some privately -owned sites? It is simply amazing that there are no tighter controls over the erection of cell sites in Antigua. In the US, there is so much red tape to overcome prior to construction - including whether the location is a historic site, situated in a densely populated community, and even aesthetic considerations for the tower. If there are no effective governmental bodies monitoring these installations, with the authority to issue real sanctions along with approvals, there is likely to be total confusion and mayhem for all (including the providers and general public) in the long run. I think the Information Minister, rather than berating Caribarena, should thank them for bringing focus to an issue in urgent need of comprehensive oversight and reform.
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Antiguan Abroad

hmmm & 007

#4 tenman » 2011-08-20 10:34

Clearly DCA is not functional. I myself have reported illegal structures to them and I am basically told there is nothing they can do. WE have had situations where central government itself has erected buildings without its own DCA approval. Is it surprising that APUA would follow suit? These guys lambast the public (squatting on public land) for not following the rules, yet they themselves do the same thing

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tenman

RE: APUA Accused of Erecting Towers Illegally

#3 Hmmm » 2011-08-20 09:12

Ok so it takes 18 months for DCA to respond to a letter. and the Telecommunications Division has noticed new sites going up but DCA says its not aware. How could they have missed 18 sites? How many of these sites went up within the 18 months before the letter was copied to the Telecoms Companies. Perhaps its not too far fetch to believe that perhaps DCA which is ultimately responsible did not pass on these new requirements. In addition these sites did not go up over night and if they were being erected illegally why did DCA not stop construction? I dont think APUA is the culprit here, perhaps DCA dropped the ball .....seems to me like some persons want to keep PCS or Imobile in the dustbins. Hmmmm
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Hmmm

Is Mansoor singing for his supper?

#2 Objectivity » 2011-08-20 07:53

I am just amazed at the vehemence and anger of Mansoor towards APUA while DIGICEL and LIME who are not Antiguan and Barbudan owned remove millions of dollars from our shores annually and are allowed to operate without like scrutiny. Is it that Maxxxor has to xxng for his suxxer? I wonder. :-*

Mansoor is aware that it is alleged that Digicel is engaged in defrauding the people of this nation by engaging in activities that enable them to illegally bypass LIME and APUA switches for international calls. Why doesn't he make a press release on this issue? :-*
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Objectivity

TAIL WAGGING THE DOG

#1 OO7 » 2011-08-20 06:03

I REALLY HAVE TO ASK THE QUESTION.WHO IS RUNNING THIS COUNTRY? IS IT ON AUTOMATIC? HOW CAN YOU HAVE A GOV'T STATUTORY BODY ACTING ILLEGALLY AND THE MINISTRY IS AWARE AND DOES NOTHING OR IS POWERLESS TO DO ANYTHING. IT'S LIKE THE TAIL WAGGING THE DOG. GUESS WHO IS THE DOG.THE PRIME MINITER IS AWARE AND DO NOTHING.MAYBE HE IS TOO BUSY TO DRIVE SO WE'RE ON AUTO-PILOT.
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OO7

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