Trinidad & Tobago Telecom Operators Digicel, TSTT sign CANTO’s “Code of Practice on Safeguarding the Open Internet”

According to a press release from CANTO (Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organizations) dated July 21, 2016, two telecommunications operators in Trinidad and Tobago, Digicel and TSTT have signed CANTO’s Code of Practice on Safeguarding the Open Internet on Wednesday July 20 2016.

This Code of Practice was announced by CANTO in March 2016. It is a voluntary code whose wider objective “is to provide a framework for operators across the Caribbean Region to collectively address the issue of Net Neutrality”. This doesn’t mean that CANTO supports Net Neutrality as commonly defined in the United States. The text of the Code of Practice says this:

“CANTO and its members support the concept of the open internet and the general principle that legal content, applications and services, should not be blocked.” To give effect to this position, Signatories to this code commit that:

1. within the terms, bandwidth limits and quality of service of their individual service plan, customers should have access to their choice of legal Internet content, services, and applications;
2. any restrictions on use attached to a particular service plan are effectively communicated to customers;
3. save for objective and transparent reasons traffic management will not selectively target the content or application(s) of specific providers within a class of content, service or application;
4. they will make available a range of service plans that provide customers with viable choices for accessing legal content, applications and services

What this means for customers:

Commitment 1) means that when customers enter a contract for the supply of services then the Operators will not put additional restrictions that aren’t in the contract on how the contracted services are used.

Commitment 2) means that customers will understand what they are contracting for.

Commitment 3) means that Operators will not single out specific on-line applications that are otherwise permitted with a service plan unless there are valid reasons to do so.  This supports fair competition.

Commitment 4) means that Operators will have a sufficiently wide portfolio of service plans with different features that customers will be able to find one that meets their individual needs at a price that reflects the value of the service.

Julian Wilkins, Chairman of the CANTO Board appeared on the Time to Face the Facts Show on June 26 2016 to talk about Internet services in the Caribbean and outlined several reasons why he and other operators in CANTO are concerned about having net neutrality enshrined in telecommunications regulations in the Caribbean (stuff for another article 🙂 ) . There are some selected clips on the Time to Face the Facts Show’s Facebook page and on CANTO’s website but the whole episode can be viewed on Vimeo: