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Anguilla Government Launches Telecoms Policy

by Amanda Banks, Tax-News.com, London

15 June 2001


The Executive Council of the Anguilla government has officially approved the draft of its National Telecommunications Policy for the liberalisation of the telecommunications sector in Anguilla. The government has stated that the draft outlines plans to 'create an open market for the provision of facilities and services and conditions in Anguilla's telecommunications sector in support of the continued development of tourism, financial services and information-based services on the Island.'

The Draft Policy is the first step towards Anguilla's liberalization process which is expected to be completed once the new telecommunications legislation, which will replace the current and outmoded 27 year old legislation, has been enacted. The government has claimed:

"The telecommunications sector in Anguilla will begin liberalization according to this Policy immediately on passage of the new law; however, in order to ensure a smooth transition from monopoly provision of telecommunications services to full competition, there will be a period of transition of one year to permit:

  • prices for services and facilities to be adjusted so that they are cost based in order to minimize the possibility of cross-subsidization of competitive services with potential benefits gained from services being provided under non-competitive circumstances
  • the putting into place of an adequate regulatory framework necessary for competition to work
    the Government to determine the extent to which the provision of essential services will be affected by the introduction of competition and the liberalization of prices and to design a program to ensure universal access is available to these services at affordable prices."
  • The government envisages that negotiations will have to take place with Cable & Wireless, the existing monopoly telecommunications provider, to discuss a new licence which will take into consideration the new modern legislative and regulatory framework.

The liberalisation of telecommunications is viewed by the government as the cornerstone to furthering Anguilla's economic development and it is vital for Anguilla to raise its profile in activities such as web hosting, e-commerce and Internet related services.

Now the policy has been approved, comments are invited from the stakeholders concerned and the general public to be considered for inclusion in the final Telecommunications Policy Document.

The Draft Policy is accessible in the Tax-news.com Resources section or on the Anguillan government's website at: http://www.gov.ai/telecommunications.


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