6 Mar 2009
The planned takeover of Telecom Cook Islands (TCI) by mobile group Digicel is being backed by the local Chamber of Commerce, reports Cook Islands News. ‘The Cook Islands community and businesses in particular have long suffered under exorbitant phone and internet charges, and frequent equipment failures, as provided by the current monopoly operator,’ said chamber president Steve Anderson. The chamber said the proposed sale will improve service quality, reduce prices to consumers, and inject cash into the economy. Last week the government confirmed that it intended to proceed with the sale of TCI to Digicel, which is based in the Caribbean but is in the process of expanding across the Pacific region. Local company Mervin Communications also announced its own plans to launch a mobile network called Kukicel as soon as the government revokes TCI’s telecoms monopoly. An amendment to the Telecommunications Act opening the industry up to competition is being worked on, according to Pacnews.