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June 8, 2003 – The quote was: "The ones that benefit the most from competition are the consumers." The context was telecommunications, and the person to whom the comment was attributed is Holland L. Redfield II, vice president for corporate affairs of Innovative Communication Corp.
The venue, however, was not the Virgin Islands or its Public Services Commission, where ICC's subsidiary, Innovative Telephone, has fought moves by would-be competitor Choice Communications to provide alternative local phone service.
Redfield was quoted in a front-page news story on Friday in The Daily Herald of Sint Maarten.
Described by the newspaper as "chairman of the U.S.V.I. Bush Leadership Team," he was reported by the newspaper to have been in the Dutch possession along with ICC public relations director Thomas J. Dunn "to discuss the granting of international concessions to the local branch of their company, East Caribbean Cellular."
ICC owns St. Maarten Cable TV as well as East Caribbean Cellular. In the Virgin Islands, its headquarters, the corporation owns Innovative Telephone, both V.I. cable TV companies, Innovative Wireless, Innovative Business Systems, Innovative Long Distance, V.I. PowerNet and the V.I. Daily News.
Redfield and Dunn met with ECC managing director Jerry Sardine before a scheduled meeting with Sarah Wescott-Williams, Sint Maarten's leader of government, the newspaper reported. Redfield told The Daily Herald that ICC was optimistic that Wescott-Williams "will be sensitive to the issue of granting an international concession to ECC."
According to the newspaper, the cellular company has come under criticism for being a foreign-based company with little local interest. However, the paper quoted Redfield as stating: "I don't consider our company foreign. I would say we are a regional company, but our commitment to St. Maarten to date has been unprecedented. … We hire locally and always place emphasis on elevating our local staff to top management positions, while always ensuring that we put back into the community."
ECC's application for an international concession has been on hold for two years, the Herald said, apparently because of a government request to put a hold on telecommunications licenses until a comprehensive local market study has been made.
"However, CellularOne, which submitted its request for a similar concession after ECC, was granted a concession by the Council of Ministers in Curaçao, much to the surprise and dismay of the St. Maarten government," the Herald stated.. "Now it is the intention of ICC to go to Curaçao" to meet with government officials "on the issue of granting ICC its international concession."
The paper quoted Redfield as saying that "the ones that benefit the most from competition are the consumers and St. Maarten … the movement throughout the world is open market, and the key to St. Maarten's economic advancement is in telecommunications because we are in the right era with telecommunications."

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