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Isle Of Man Appoints Independent Consultants To Review Manx Telecom

Mandy Robinson, Tax-news.com, London

19 December 2000


A firm of independent consultants has been assigned by the Manx government's Communications Commission to review the Isle of Man's telecommunications company Manx Telecom.

In a Manx Telecom press statement, managing director Chris Hall explained that the company's licences are not due to expire for another six years but said he welcomed the review: 'The current licences were issued 15 years ago, before the explosion in the use of the Internet and the advent of e-commerce, and we see considerable benefit to all parties of updating the regulatory framework to reflect these developments. We support the Isle of Man Government in its aim to continue to provide a world-class telecommunications service for the future and we welcome the opportunity for an independent review of the current regime which we believe will be to the benefit of Manx Telecom.'

Formed in 1987 as a wholly owned subsidiary of BT, Manx Telecom is the island's only telecommunications provider. It holds licences to operate fixed and mobile networks on the Isle of Man and in June 1999 was granted a UMTS which will enable the company to launch Europe's first commercial Third Generation mobile phone service planned for May next year. Over the last five years Manx Telecom has invested over £50 million in the Isle of Man. It has improved on its fixed, mobile and Internet networks and a submarine cable link to Northern Ireland was established September this year, completing a communications loop linking the island with the UK and Ireland.

The review is expected to provide an assessment of Manx Telecom's fixed and mobile operations under current legislation and its ability to cope with future technological demands.

A confident Mr Hall stated: 'We believe that Manx Telecom will be shown to be able to serve the Island's current and future needs. The investment made by the company has already provided the Isle of Man with a world-class communications infrastructure which will easily cope with future demand both for voice telephony and e-commerce, and which has already attracted sizeable businesses to relocate here. Our record for providing high quality service in the Island and supporting the Island as a centre for offshore e-commerce will speak for itself.'

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