January 7, 2005
Cable & Wireless phone rates down

The cost of calling from fixed line phones has been cut.

This news comes at a time when Vincentian consumers are bracing themselves for price increases in gasoline, diesel and kerosene announced during the Budget presentation in December.{{more}}

The telephone rate reductions became effective January 1, and will see consumers paying seven and five cents for peak and off-peak period. This is 37 per cent less than the nine, eight and six cents formerly charged by provider Cable & Wireless during the peak and off peak time slots.

Peak hours fall between 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily while the off peak period runs from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

A release from Cable & Wireless said the reductions follow an agreement reached on a Price Regulation Regime between the company and the Organization of East Caribbean States (OECS) Ministers of Telecommunications.

Additional reductions will apply to fixed line to mobile phone calls. Where it formerly cost 81 cents per minute during peak period, 80 cents on evening and 78 cents on weekends, the cost has now gone down to 76 and 75 cents respectively for the peak, evening and weekend time slots.

Free minutes, which customers formerly enjoyed before the liberalization of the telecoms sector, and which were removed as part of Cable & Wireless’ rebalancing programme, have been reintroduced.

Customers have now been given 60 free minutes monthly on fixed to fixed calls.

Cable & Wireless said this can result in as many as 25 per cent of existing users having “no payments to make for their evening and weekend locals calls from their home phone”.