11 Sep 2007

Marshalls call for competition in telecommunications sector

2:05 pm on 11 September 2007

The Marshall Islands Chamber of Commerce has renewed its calls for private telecommunications companies to be allowed into the market.

The call comes after nearly three weeks of interrupted email service after the Marshall's Internet Protocol address was blocked after it was caught up with a spamming drive.

The President of the Chamber of Commerce, Jack Niedenthal, says the email system is the lifeblood of many of the Marshall's businesses:

"For small countries like the Marshall Islands, telecommunications are absolutely essential, especially when you're located pretty much in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the Pacific for the Marshall Islands. We have come to rely so heavily on this service that when it goes down we really are cut off from the rest of the world unless you want to use telephones."

Mr Niedenthal says if customers are forced to use telephones, then even more money goes back to the telecommunications authority.

He says the opening up of the market would increase competition, reduce prices and improve service.