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London Consultant To Report On Cayman Telecoms Bill

by Justin Gorringe,, London

31 December 2001

After the Cayman Islands government announced liberalisation of the telecommunications sector last October, and then held back publication of the necessary legislation at the beginning of December, the Minister with responsibility for Information Technology, Linford A. Pierson, appointed a consultant to review the legislation before it is presented to Parliament.

Following a competitive tender, the contract was awarded to LECG Ltd of London. The company's terms of reference include: review of the draft Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Bill from a regulator's perspective; recommendation of an appropriate establishment and skill set for the new ICT Authority; assistance with the definition of strategic goals; and development of an outline strategy for the liberalisation process.

"The consultants have also attended initial discussions with Cable & Wireless," said the Director of Information Technology Strategy, Mr. Dave Archbold.

The first stage of the contract, which was awarded in November, terminates today (31st December) with submission of a report to government. A separate contract will then be awarded for additional, more detailed, consultancy work to be done in early 2002.

The ICT Authority is to be operational by June 2002, after recruiting the necessary technical staff. July 2002 is the target date for completion of discussions with Cable & Wireless and Mr. Pierson said the phased liberalisation of telecommunications is expected to commence in August 2002.

The Cayman Government had come under considerable pressure from local business interests to push forward with the liberalisation of telecommunications against stubborn resistance from Cable and Wireless, and it is supposed that the draft Bill was insufficiently tough when it first saw the light of day, leading to the consultants' appointment.

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