23 May 2005

Marshalls blocks internet phone

2:34 pm on 23 May 2005

The only telecommunications company in the Marshall Islands has blocked voice services over the internet to shore up its revenue.

The National Telecommunications Authority, or NTA, says it took the action because some customers offered a cheap internet alternative while the law bans competition to the company.

Internet telephony cost six US cents a minute while NTA calls are more than a dollar a minute.

The NTA says more than 50 accounts were blocked of people reselling internet voice services to Asian fishermen.

Majuro, which is the capital of the Marshall Islands, is a hub for Asian tuna longline and purse seine vessels to transship fish and purchase fuel.