Government of Guam presents workshop on experiences with Telecommunication Liberalization, Regulation and Privatization alongside the Micronesian Chief Executive Summit (MCES)
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): April 3, 2012 - At the request of President Manny Mori, the Bureau of Information Technology (BIT) of the Government of Guam was tasked by Governor Eddie Baza Calvo to organize a workshop on telecommunications, addressing the benefits of the liberalization of the telecommunications sector and how the use of Information Communication Technology (ICT) has impacted the economy, education and health services on Guam.
The telecommunications workshop was attended by representatives from the Freely Associated States, the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands, GovGuam leaders, competitive telecommunication carriers in Guam and other regional telecommunication experts. Mr. Fredy Perman of the FSM Telecommunications Corporation (FSMTC) and Mr. Richard Misech of the Palau National Communications Corporation (PNCC) also attended the workshop.
The Workshop began with a welcome by Ed C. Cruz, Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the Bureau of Information Technology (BIT) followed by a briefing on the FSM's interests in telecommunications issues presented by Mr. Francis Itimai, Secretary of Transportation, Communications, and Infrastructure.
Secretary Itimai provided a presentation entitled "Brief Overview of the Interests of the FSM Government in the Experiences of Guam with Telecommunications Liberalization, Competition, Privatization of the GTA, Regulation and Discussion of Benefits for the Economy, Education, and Health." He discussed the interest of the FSM in opening up competition in communication services and connecting all States with submarine fiber optics cable capacity. The Secretary made mention of the Directive issued by President Mori in 2007 and the most recent Communiqué issued by the States and National Leadership Conference (SNLC) in February 2012, which endorsed the efforts to introduce competition in communication and to pursue financing with the World Bank and others for fiber optics connectivity.
Mr. Ed C. Cruz then provided an overview of the current telecommunications environment in Guam and how the U.S. Telecommunications Act of 1996 established the framework for competition. Mr. Cruz noted that Guam then passed the Guam Telecommunications Act of 1996 as it went through the process of formalizing the Guam regulatory infrastructure for telecommunications.
Several other speakers attested to the various situations of having a competitive environment for communications in Guam, directly resulting in competitive pricing, drastic lowering of cost for calls to the U.S. ( 2.89 cents per minute, down from when it used to be $4.00 per minute), cheaper monthly rates of Internet service, wider choice of carriers for consumers, etc.
The Workshop then heard presentations from the chief executives of Docomo Pacific, iConnect, IT&E, MCV and PDS, covering topics from the companies' affiliates, the services provided, and the nature of the "friendly" competition among the carriers. The speakers included:
The carriers expressed their interests in the FSM and the region and the overall need for expansion into other markets. The consistent theme was the need for a legal and regulatory framework that would treat all competitors fairly.
Mr. James Gillan, the Director of the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services and Mr. Vince Dela Cruz, the Data Processing Manager for the Guam Department of Education, described how Information and Communication Technology has been integrated into the operations of their departments to improve quality of services and create new means for their departments to better connect with the people.
Secretary Itimai thanked the Bureau of Information Technology and the Government of Guam, the competitive telecommunications companies, and the local resources for a "great" and "substantive" workshop in relations to the President's request.
For more information, please contact the Department of TC&I at 320-2865.
For further information on this release, please contact:
FSM Office of the President Public Information: Press, Radio, Video P.O Box 34 Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941 Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092 Fax.: (691) 320-4356 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.fsmpio.fm/