18 May 2004

High telecoms cost impairing Fiji economy - report

10:42 am on 18 May 2004

A report from Fiji says the country is losing out on thousands of new jobs and millions of dollars in earnings because of high telecommunications costs.

Fiji TV says this was highlighted yesterday during events to mark World Telecommunications Day.

The ministry of information and telecommunications says it is pointless of the government to try to attract overseas investors if Telecom Fiji and FINTEL don't provide competitive prices and support services.

As an example, it says eight companies were issued licences to provide internet services in Fiji years ago only to be told by FINTEL that there was a lack of bandwidth.

The ministry says this is compounded by very high costs.

The minister, Simione Kaitani, says the government is urging the monopoly telecom companies to bring down their costs and provide support services.