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Dec 8, 2014

Rodwell Williams Says Smart is On It’s Own after February 28

The case of Speednet Communications Limited and Belize Telemedia Limited returned to the courtroom of Justice Shona Griffith this morning. Speednet, parent company of SMART, had sought an interim injunction restraining Telemedia from cutting off their communication link in the South of Belize, which would leave over seven thousand SMART customers in the Toledo District without cell phone and internet service. B.T.L. insisted that SMART was not allowed, as it alleged, to on-sell B.T.L.’s service to consumers, but was to use it for its own private purposes. SMART was not able to gain the intervention of the Public Utilities Commission and so took B.T.L. to court. With access on the line, the two companies this morning agreed to a consent order which continues the service through next February. After that, according to B.T.L.’s attorney Senior Counsel Rodwell Williams, SMART is on its own.

 

Rodwell Williams, Attorney for B.T.L.

“Essentially what occurred is as you may recall, SpeedNet had an application against PUC and B.T.L. in relation to this claim they brought. We were to have an injunction hearing application. As between SpeedNet and the PUC, SpeedNet will withdraw that claim against the PUC.”

 

Reporter

Rodwell Williams

“What is the significance of the date, February twenty-eight?”

 

Rodwell Williams

“Yes, only up to that date the undertaking….the significance is that B.T.L. will not discontinue until that date. It will continue to service until that date. After that date, there is no case and SpeedNet will have to find its own independent solution.”

 

Reporter

“So they are saying that SpeedNet does not have an option of bringing back the claim before the court if B.T.L…”

 

Rodwell Williams

“I have no comment about that.”

 

Reporter

“Sir so only up to the twenty-eight SpeedNet is on their own…that’s basically what you are saying?”

 

Rodwell Williams

“At the twenty-eighth they are on their own. Yes sir.”

 

Reporter

“You don’t know if they have the option of bringing back?”

 

Rodwell Williams

“I have no comment on what is their options or what they may or may not do. I’m saying that they will be allowed the service until the twenty-eight and as a result they have consented to the dismissal of the claim. There is no claim continuing and they will withdraw against the PUC.”

 

Speednet’s attorney Andrew Marshalleck would only tell us that they continue to hammer out the precise arrangement of the court order. Williams, for his part, would not comment on whether SMART could bring B.T.L. to court again on this matter.  P.U.C. attorney, Fred Lumor, is to apply for costs after his clients were tacked on the case this past Friday, only to learn today that the two parties had agreed and the claim against them would be dismissed. In court Lumor argued that ten thousand dollars in costs should be assessed for their work, but Marshalleck countered that they are not entitled to that much because the case was settled at a very preliminary stage, even before full case management. This means that SMART customers in the Deep South need not worry about losing their service for Christmas and New Year’s.

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