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Blog – Denis O’Brien, Chairman and Founder, Digicel

14.12.2021
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Blog - Denis O’Brien, Chairman and Founder, Digicel

When you look at regulation around the world, little has altered in the last 25 years. Yet there has been a profound change in communications technologies and people’s means of accessing them.

Smaller countries need lighter touch regimes, particularly when faced with ‘over-the-top’ providers that compete in similar services, such as voice and video-calling, but who are not currently subject to regulatory oversight.

As the largest network operator in the Caribbean we pay regulatory fees and taxes of up to 30% of revenues. In Haiti there are 5 million Facebook users in a population of 11 million. Facebook pays no regulatory fees, no taxes and employs no one in Haiti. My company, Digicel, has a staff of 1200, supports thousands in the supply chain and pays tens of millions of dollars into Haiti’s exchequer. We are happy to do so as Haiti needs this money. For example, the Haitian government’s total spend on healthcare for 11 million people was US$73m in 2020.

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It’s time for OTT’s to pay their way - the build-out of new networks needs everyone to contribute

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