14 Sep 2007

Push to break up government telecom monopoly in Marshall Islands

3:08 pm on 14 September 2007

Legislation to break up the Marshall Islands government's monopoly control of telecommunications has been introduced into the parliament amid claims that poor service and high cost are holding back development and educational attainment.

The legislation follows a Chamber of Commerce forum on telecommunications this week, which management of the government's National Telecommunications Authority refused to attend despite being invited.

At the forum, Majuro business leaders complained about slow and unreliable Internet and email service, and spotty cell phone connections.

The head of the largest constructions company in the Marshall Islands, Jerry Kramer of Pacific International, says the lack of competition is denying the whole country the miracle of this century.

The legislation, introduced by Bikini Senator Tomaki Juda, aims to open up the telecommunications sector by removing the telecom agency's exclusive rights to control the sector.