Marshalls poised to open telco market

4:21 pm on 20 February 2015

The Marshall Islands parliament looks set to pass a controversial law that would open up the telecommunications market to competition.

The bill, which is supported by the World Bank, passed its second reading this week, and would also result in the World Bank providing at least 10 million US dollars in grant funds to the government.

The Finance Minister Jack Ading strongly backed the bill and the opportunity for the large cash infusion.

But our correspondent, Giff Johnson, says those opposed to the bill say the Marshall Islands market isn't big enough for two telecoms to operate and make a profit.

"People who are objecting say that it will simply result in getting rid of the people of the existing telecom, and a foreign telecom coming in and taking over and being a similar monopoly, and that the people who work for the present telecom, most of them will lose their jobs."

Giff Johnson says Digicel has already shown interest, and is positioned to come into the market, should the legilsation pass the final reading.