Friday, 7 December 2007 10:28 AM

Govt. Seeks to End Telekom Monopoly

The government is looking at improving the legislation to support the introduction of competition in the telecommunication industry in the country as part of its ongoing reform in the industry sectors.

This will include ending the monopoly currently enjoyed by Our Telekom, the only telecommunication service provider in Solomon Islands.

Finance Minister, Peter Boyers, made the announcement during his address at a reception held for the private sector and business houses at the Pacific Casino Hotel Tuesday.

Mr. Boyers said for the consumers to benefit in the long term, competition must be allowed to take its course and exclusive license forgone.

"The expressed aim here is to put downward pressure on the telecommunications costs to the benefit of both personal and business consumers," Mr. Boyers told representatives of major companies in the country present at the reception.

Our Telekom, formerly Solomon Telekom Company Limited, holds a 15-year exclusive license to operate telecommunication services in Solomon Islands.

Already, another telecommunication company, Digicel Pacific, a sister company to the Digicel Group, has been granted an experimental licence in Solomon Islands, although this was legally challenged by Our Telekom.

Solomon Telekom Company Limited (Telekom) is a joint venture company between Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF), which hold 64.74% of the shares, and Cable & Wireless Plc. of the United Kindom, which holds 32.58% of shares, and the Investment Corporation of the Solomon Islands (ICSI), which owns 2.68 % of the shares.

In the aviation industry, competition in the international aviation sector will be further enhanced with the introduction of two further carriers - Pacific Blue and Sky Air World.

Mr. Boyers said this will increase to at least four (4) carriers flying from Solomon Islands to Australia.

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