Deadline talks

THE Telecommunications Authority of Fiji (TAF) has initiated internal discussions on the extension of time given to public for the surrendering and declaring of Digitally Enhanced Cordless Telephones (DECT) phones.

This was the word from TAF acting manager technical Tevita Navila as a response to a plea from the Consumer Council of Fiji requesting the authority to provide more time to consumers for the surrender their DECT phones.

“We have initiated an internal discussion on the extension of time given to public for the surrendering and declaring of DECT phones to TAF,” he told this newspaper yesterday.

“There is also a discussion on provisions of compensation and replacements are being initiated.”

TAF had earlier announced via a public notice that DECT telephones were banned from being imported or used in Fiji as it harmfully interfered with 3G mobile networks operated by local service providers.

A period of 30-day ending March 27, 2018 was notified to the public to comply with surrendering any DECT devices, where anyone found in possession of such devices for use or for sale after the 30 day period would be penalised under the promulgation and could face a fine of up to $20,000 or 24 months imprisonment.

This prompted Consumer Council chief executive officer Premila Kumar to call on TAF to provide more time to consumers for the surrender of DECT phones and compensate those who unknowingly bought the device from the marketplace.

“It is to be noted that majority of the consumers bought the device from the local stores and very few bought them from overseas,” Ms Kumar said in a statement last week.

“TAF should have ensured that such device was not sold in the shops in the first place if it was a prohibited item.

“Some form of compensation should be given to consumers who are required to surrender their devices. TAF should also provide alternative places where consumers can return the devices besides their office in Suva.”

Meanwhile, Mr Navila has also clarified that only the DECT cordless telephones that were working on 1800MHz & 1900MHz were prohibited.

“Other cordless telephones that are working on 2400MHz (2.4GHz) and 5800MHz (5.8GHz) are allowed to be imported, traded and used in Fiji,” Mr Navila said.

“Many customers have surrendered their DECT cordless telephones to TAF, have visited and have enquired via email and phone calls with TAF.

“The authority has also confiscated many DECT phones.”

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