Utilities of Dominica
Dominica Electricity Services (DOMLEC) is the only licensed provider of electricity in the country. DOMLEC is majority owned by the US firm WRB (51 per cent), while Dominica Social Security owns 20 per cent, and local corporate and private citizens own the remaining 29 per cent. The Electricity Supply Act 2006 abolished the monopoly previously held by DOMLEC. Currently, diesel generators fuelled by imported oil and hydropower plants generate Dominica’s electric power. Dominica has one of the highest electricity tariffs in the Eastern Caribbean – a source of concern for many residents.
There are plans to build several power plants to harness Dominica’s geothermal activity. With so many volcanoes, Dominica is considered the Caribbean island with the most potential for geothermal power generation.
The state-owned Dominica Water and Sewerage Company Limited (DOWASCO) is responsible for the water infrastructure of the country, supplying 95 per cent of the population. The country’s plentiful rainfall and surface water supplies have led to the exportation of fresh water becoming a source of national income. The Ministry of Lands, Housing, Settlements and Water Resource Management is the government ministry in charge of the sector.
Dominica became the first country in the world to operate a fully digital national telephone system. The fixed line market is experiencing a steady decline, and is gradually being replaced by increased mobile penetration. The main telecommunications provider is Cable and Wireless, with the local company Marpin Telecoms also providing similar services. AT&T Wireless and Orange are both present and ready to compete with Cable and Wireless in the mobile phone market. The National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of the Commonwealth of Dominica regulates the market.
There are 1,640 mobile phone subscriptions and 513 internet users per 1,000 people (2011).