Regulator to report on Sure's 'poor performance' issues

A REPORT on recent issues with poor performance from telecomms provider Sure, it is intended will be published next week, the Chief Executive Barry Rowland informed Legislative Assembly on Thursday. 

The report comes from the Attorney General, as the Independent Regulator.

Responding to a question from MLA Gavin Short regarding the status of any package of compensation for Sure customers, following the recent breaches in their Key Performance Indicators, and when customers were likely to be advised of what it may entail, Mr Rowland said Sure had publicly committed to a compensation package for consumers. 

He said: “The Government and Sure are in discussions seeking to clarify the nature of that compensation package.” 
He said that should be finalised shortly, and expected in the next couple of weeks to be able to inform customers of an improved complaints procedure.

Mr Rowland said the Regulator had indicated to both the Government and Sure that any penalty for failure to meet key performance indicators might be mitigated by a compensation package to customers.
MLA Roger Edwards said the community was losing faith in the Communications Bill and also the post of regulator. “We put a lot of effort and work into the telecommunications bill and don’t want to see it fail at this hurdle,” he said, adding he would urge that the compensation package be brought forward, “sooner rather than later.”

He noted that the newly appointed regulator was due to arrive on September 11 to take up her post. 

The Communications Bill was passed in Legislative Assembly at the end of January following lengthy debate in Select Committee with the public contributing their views on the limitations of the current provision and the need for regulation.

One aspect of the Bill that generated the greatest discussion during Select Committee was the nature and status of the Regulator. 

According to the Bill, the Regulator would be appointed by the Governor who might give policy direction, but the Regulator would not be subject to the direction or control of any other person or authority.

The Regulator would also be required to submit an annual report to the Governor and the Legislative Assembly about their work during the year.
Should the office of Regulator be vacant it would be undertaken by the Attorney General.  

New Regulator hired
Susannah Nightingale will take up the role of Regulator in September. According to her LinkedIn profile, she has been a policy adviser at the British Medical Association for 10 years, after obtaining a MSc in Public Policy and Management from Birbeck College. She has: “Outstanding expertise at a senior level negotiating and developing public policy.” She will be accompanied by her husband and her two children.