House to probe TRB members over IPTV license snafu

Written by  //  November 16, 2011  //  Telecommunications/Technology  //  No comments

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Former TRB Associate Member Vicente Aguirre. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

New Progressive Party Rep. José Chico filed late Tuesday a resolution ordering the House Government Affairs Committee to launch a probe into alleged irregularities by a number of Telecommunications Regulatory Board members that resulted in blocking the cable television franchise license requested by Puerto Rico Telephone (Claro).

Although the resolution is not specific, the investigation will likely target Associate Member Nixyvette Santini and former Associate Member Vicente Aguirre, who TRB President Sandra Torres outed for their “illegal” actions during the process of analysis and drafting of the franchise license decision late last month.

Among other things, Torres said the two public officials acted outside the law by approving a document that should have granted PRT’s franchise petition that contained stipulations that were not agreed upon by the three members.

She also said the document substituted the original consensus order containing a number of conditions that PRT would have to abide by in exchange for the franchise license. Those conditions would also be applicable to the rest of the cable television industry, she noted.

TRB Board Member Nixyvette Santini. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

Torres refrained from signing the document, filing a separate dissident opinion outlining the reasons why the move by her colleagues was invalid. She also raised the red flag over the alleged irregularities.

That situation was the latest in a string of clashes between Torres, Santini and Aguirre, who ended his tenure at the agency, and was succeeded by Gloria Escudero on Oct. 4.

Prior to ending his 15-year run, Aguirre, who was not shy about expressing his opposition to the PRT’s petition, got into a heated argument with the company’s representatives during a public hearing in August that triggered Torres to reprimand him for his actions.

Santini, meanwhile, seemingly supported Aguirre’s stance.

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