POND ISLAND — After nearly 5 years of dispute, the Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Traffic and Telecommunication (TEATT), Ludmila de Weever, mediated a long-standing stalemate between the Telem Group, Bureau Telecommunications and Post Sint Maarten (BTP) and the Government of Sint Maarten. The Minister achieved an amicable end to the stalemate that resulted in a settlement agreement for amounts owed by Telem to BTP and BTP to the Government of Sint Maarten. What appeared to be unresolvable for almost half a decade, took approximately 6 weeks to be finalized. The Ministry of TEATT can now grant the concession agreement to Telem Group based on the positive advice received from BTP.
Minister de Weever expressed satisfaction with the outcome of this settlement. It was one of her top priorities. The realization of the fiber network will be a major step for the country’s telecommunication sector and its economic recovery and future growth. Minister de Weever said she looks forward to continuing to strengthen the relationship between all parties as the agreement terms are carried out and is grateful to the mandate given to her by the Council of Ministers.
Both Telem Group and BTP have expressed satisfaction with the resolution and outcome of the settlement. “After several discussions, we are pleased to have advised the Minister. Telem Group now has the space to concentrate on providing key services to St. Maarten in these crucial times,” stated BTP Director Anthony Carty.
Without this resolution, the refinancing of the existing bond and additional funds provided by a $44 million USD loan was at risk with potentially dire consequences for the future of Telem and its employees. The much-needed financing provided by Windward Islands Bank will now enable Telem to realize its fiber-to-the-home network project.
“We are happy that we have finally gotten our concession settlement agreement finalized so that Telem Group may continue to provide the services to the people of St. Maarten,” stated Chief Executive Officer of Telem Group Kendall Dupersoy.