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Dec 8, 2009

Smart moves against Telemedia.; injunction blocks interruptions

Story PictureOn Monday Smart, a subsidiary of Speednet filed an application for an injunction against the telecoms giant, Telemedia, and today it scored a victory in the courts that will restrain Telemedia, from causing it further disruption… at least in the next few days. Attorneys for Speednet, Andrew Marshalleck and Eamon Courtenay, went to court to block any moves against Smart’s services that would compromise its ninety thousand strong customer base. Speednet has maintained that Telemedia is in breach of the Belize Telecommunications Act’s Section forty-two, which states that a dominant provider shall not take advantage of its power in a market for the supply of a telecommunications service with a view to eliminate or substantially damage another licensee in the market. The grounds for the application included Telemedia’s refusal to provide international E1 services to Speednet; its wrongful tampering or removal of Speednet’s equipment from the towers that they collocate; and denial of Speednet’s access to equipment on the shared towers. The Government was represented by the mother and daughter team, Lois Young and Deanne Barrow. News Five spoke to Smart’s Chief Marketing Officer, Anthony Mahler, about this morning’s decision.

Anthony Mahler, Chief Marketing Officer, Smart
“This morning our attorneys filed an application for an interim injunction to restrain B.T.L. from taking any further action against Speednet. The Chief Justice heard the application and made a ruling. He ruled for an interim injunction and then he is going to hear both positions on Thursday at nine o’clock. He made his ruling, from what I heard, in the interest of the public. He is saying that he has concerns that B.T.L. may interfere with our services, which would affect over ninety thousand customers.”

Jose Sanchez
“I know you were taken off the Benny’s tower and the one in Ladyville. Does this injunction in anyway affect the situation with those two towers?”

Anthony Mahler
“He ruled that the status quo remains. So whatever is the position now remains as is.”

Jose Sanchez
“So you’re still off those two towers?”

Anthony Mahler
“Yes, but he also says we have access to our equipment and all the sites.”

Jose Sanchez
“Do you think Telemedia’s move is to create another monopoly in the market?”

Anthony Mahler
“Well, their actions speak—I’m not sure what is on their minds because their actions have been anti-competitive; hostile and can only lead me to think that. I’m not sure if that’s their position but they have often shown that.”

Jose Sanchez
“Telemedia is run by the government, does this mean then this is a government move, from your viewpoint?”

Anthony Mahler
“I’m sure directives come from the government but I have to go back to the point; the Chief Justice said that his ruling is based on the interest of the people. So he has the concern of ninety thousand customers that Smart has.

As Mahler says, both parties, Smart and Telemedia, will return to the Supreme Court on Thursday. News Five will bring you the details of everything that unfolds in the Chief Justice’s Chamber.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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