I don't agree with Public Services Commission denying Choice Communications DS3 service. We need to read below the lines and think deeply about why this happened. Here is my input.
I do agree that the main issue here is not quality of service, reliability or whatever is good for the consumers of the Virgin Islands. The main issue here is Innovative protecting its main interest. And that main interest is its revenues. Greg Vogt, an Innovative attorney, says it best, as you reported: "'Choice is simply trying to get a break on the price it's paying for telecommunications service,' he said. 'All it's going to do is lower Innovative's revenue.'"
Will Innovative be innovative enough to offer any other services to its customers to stay competitive if it is faced with competition? As long as there is no competition, there is no need for Innovative to do anything. Does Innovative provide good quality service for its customer? Is cost of service an issue for the consumers of the Virgin Islands?
Vogt also said Innovative is not "trying to hold down the competitive edge." It depends on whose competitive edge he is talking about. As long as Innovation controls the market, the only one that needs to be competitive and creative to stay afloat is Choice Communication or any other company that tries to enter Innovative's back yard. I truly doubt Innovation welcomes competition. Innovative doesn't have to provide Choice with DS3 or any other services. It is in its best interest not to, and from my understanding that's where the PSC come into play.
You reported: "PSC member Alric Simmonds, who also is the governor's deputy chief of staff, put this question to Vogt: If more than one company requested the DS3 lines, would Innovative provide the access?' Vogt answered yes." The answer is yes, but to whom? Let's see how this plays out. I am sure Innovative probably would provide DS3 access to a company that doesn't pose a threat to them. But to a competitor? Now that's a shady area.
The PSC indication that Choice "did not meet its burden of proof to establish that there was such a need" is hard to comprehend. What exactly is the "burden of proof"? A service provider cannot compete and survive without having access to readily available bandwidth. Its growth will be stifled, which in turn denies the public the benefits of that growth. Without competition, quality of service, costs, reliability, customer choice, etc., etc. (you name them) don't exist.
Seems like the PSC is protecting Innovative's interest. And for what reason? Like I said, "something smells!" And, yes, I said it!
That's my input.
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