Wednesday, September 26, 2018
You are here: Isle of Man > Isle of Man News
Isle of Man News
General News
Tynwald Considers Manx Telecom Licence 8 November 2003

At the November sitting of Tynwald, the Court is being invited to approve the grant of a new licence for Manx Telecom Limited.

In March 2002 Tynwald approved in principle the relicensing of the company as the Island’s major telecommunications operator. This followed acceptance of the main recommendations of the independent InterConnect Communications Ltd Report on telecommunications policy in the Isle of Man. The Communications Commission had initiated that review in 2000. Amongst other detailed recommendations it was proposed that Manx Telecom would remain the principal fixed link and mobile operator on the Island but others such as Internet Service Providers would be encouraged to offer competitive services.

Following a tendering process the leading telecoms law firm, Clifford Chance LLP, was engaged by the Commission to prepare the new licence. Extensive public consultation has taken place over the past year. Contributions have come in from bodies such as the Chamber of Commerce, from individual companies, from Members of Tynwald and from individual members of the public.

The Council of Ministers granted the new licence last month. If Tynwald agrees it will replace the old licence on 1 January 2004. The old licence has been in force since 1986.

In the UK and across the EU telecommunications licences were abolished earlier this year, being replaced by a regime of ‘general authorisations’. Tynwald has decided to accept the ICC Report recommendation to continue with licensing in the Isle of Man. This approach is also being taken in other small island jurisdictions.

The new 15-year licence contains extensive powers for the Communications Commission to intervene if Manx Telecom fails to trade fairly or if it exploits its dominant position. The licence also does away with the “15 per cent of profits” licence fee, in effect a tax on all the Island’s telephone users. This will enable Manx Telecom to bring in a raft of tariff reductions from 1 January 2004 benefiting telecoms users across the Isle of Man. As well as upgrading all its local exchanges to offer ADSL, the company is also committing to build a second Douglas telephone exchange, thus eliminating a perceived ‘single point of failure’ at Dalton Street. This move has been widely welcomed by the business community in particular.

Commenting on the new licence, the Chairman of the Communications Commission, Hon R P Braidwood MHK, said:

“The grant of this licence to provide telecoms services of all kinds marks a new era for Manx Telecom and for the Isle of Man. It will enable both Manx Telecom and the Commission to move forward into the 21st century with a sound modern relationship. With Manx Telecom’s commitment to investment and to tariff cuts the Isle of Man is truly becoming “the broadband Island”.

More stories >>>  

Other Guides by Maxima Systems Ltd: Disney World