At the beginning of the week, a trial involving Speednet Communications, SMART, and the Public Utilities Commission, PUC, was tried in the courtroom of Supreme Court Justice Michelle Arana. That trial surrounded a fee of more than one million dollars which the PUC says Smart owes. Smart was represented by Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay who explained more.
Eamon Courtenay – Senior Counsel
“Eamon Courtney: Speednet over a million dollars in spectrum fees. These are fees for the use of a portion of the radio frequency spectrum. What had happened was that Speednet was rolling out its LTE technology and it needed to use a part of the 700 megahertz spectrum and it applied to the PUC for the assignment of that part of the spectrum to it however that part of the spectrum was already assigned to broadcasting and so the PUC said that they would reassign that part of the spectrum to mobile services but until then it could not charge Speednet because it needed to do the reassignment first. Speednet waited for quite a while, over a year, and they said they needed to do testing. They said that they were giving provisional approval to test, that was four years ago. Up to now they have not done the reassignment of the frequency they have have not given the official and formal approval to use the frequency. So the CCJ gave its decision and ordered the PUC to refund Speednet $790,000. Low and behold when SpeedNet wrote and said ‘we need the $790,000 that you have been ordered by the CCJ to return.’ PUC dug up in its files and said ‘oh guess what we remember that four years ago we had given you an informal approval to test your equipment we are not going to charge you one million plus dollars you in fact Speednet owe us $300,000.’ So we told them that that was ridiculous that it was unlawful and that it was a clear attempt to wipe out the debt that it had to pay that was ordered by the CCJ. We told them to withdraw that decision and withdraw that demand and to pay Speednet the cheque, they refused to do that and so we took them to court. On Monday we were before Madam Justice Arana where Mr. Ferlo Moore Senior Counsel and Ms.Pitts on behalf of the PUC, myself and Ms.Banner represented SpeedNet where we are asking the court to declare the decision of the PUC to demand over a million dollars from SpeedNet to be illegal and unlawful.”
Justice Michelle Arana has reserved her judgment for a later date.