Legal option available over alleged interference

The disruption of Digicel’s internet services during the historical Manu Samoa and All Blacks test match at Apia Park three weeks could end up in Court.

And the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Tuisugaletaua Sofara Aveau said that if Digicel feels that it is necessary, the option of legal action is available to them. During an interview with the Samoa Observer, the Minister said that the situation described by Digicel as a “deliberate interference” is not a technical issue.

Tuisugaletaua is also the Minister of the Office of the Regulator, which has been asked to investigate what happened.

According to the Minister, if Digicel feels that someone did something wrong, then there are legal options available.

“We don’t necessarily back somebody or negate unnecessarily,” said the Minister about the competition between Digicel and Bluesky.

“If there was wrongdoing – a criminal act then it’s a criminal issue.

“Obviously they know something that someone tampered with their network…if someone turned the plug off then it’s a criminal issue, not a technical problem.”

Asked about the progress of the investigation by the Interim Regulator, Tuisuga declined to comment.

Digicel’s Chief Executive Officer, Rory Condon, also declined to comment when he was asked if their company would pursue legal action. He pointed out that the matter has been left with the Office of the Regulator to deal with.

Mr. Condon, however, said that from Digicel’s standpoint, it’s important to ensure the interest of their customers are “protected now and in the future and we will continue to act to ensure that happens.”

Queries sent to Bluesky Samoa Country Manager, Alex Abraham, were not responded to by press time.

Minister Tuisuga was also asked about a restriction imposed on WiFi services at the Apia Park.

According to Tuisuga it seemed that there was more of a miscommunication between the parties involved.

“From a very general observation, S.R.U. did some negotiations with one of the companies while those on the ground at the park had an agreement with the other phone company,” he said.

“Then the other parties made those arrangements (impose restriction) without communicating with the others and apparently that didn’t work for the others.

“We issued a license for both of them to livestream the game overseas to more than 100 countries and there was no reason for the companies to disagree because they were both open to do that.

“Our staff checked the band used so it doesn’t cross over the other…the Regulator gave them both permission to go ahead.”

Samoa Observer

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