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Telecommunications Commissioner to Address 2nd Australian Solomon Islands Business Forum
Written by TCSI   
Thursday, 21 October 2010 00:00

The Telecommunications Commissioner, Nicholas Williams, will be speaking at the 2nd Australia Solomon Islands Business Forum in Brisbane on Friday, 22 October.

The Forum provides an opportunity for the Solomon Islands to set out for potential investors the current economic and policy climate in the country and highlight some key opportunities for investment.

Mr Williams will be using the Forum specifically to encourage investors to become providers of internet services.

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Internet Competition [Editorial]
Written by Nicholas Williams - Telecommunications Commissioner   
Friday, 24 September 2010 00:00

A number of correspondents to you have highlighted the need for increased internet competition as a means to improve service, price and availability.

I agree fully.

As Telecommunications Commissioner, I will be bringing forward an authorisation or licence to enable companies to offer internet services in competition with Solomon Telekom. Such competition is very much needed. Current internet connectivity is not of an international standard. We have seen recently the benefits that competition has brought to the mobile market and I very much hope we will see the same for internet provision (and, indeed, all telecommunications services).

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Launch Delay to Cost BeMobile USD1.5M
Written by TCSI   
Tuesday, 29 June 2010 00:00

Nicholas Williams, the Telecommunications Commissioner, has today taken action against bemobile for its failure to launch a network by the due date in its licence. Specifically, the Commissioner has taken USD1.5m (one million, five hundred thousand US dollars) from a demand guarantee provided by bemobile to ensure its compliance with the network coverage obligation in its licence. The coverage obligation included an initial threshold requiring bemobile to launch a network serving 25% of the population by 18 June 2010.

The Commissioner has granted bemobile an extension until 30 August to become compliant with its licence.

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WORLD BANK: Support for New Telecommunications Commission Moves Ahead
Written by World Bank   
Tuesday, 06 April 2010 00:00

April 6, 2010, - Further progress was made today toward ensuring healthy competition within the Solomon Islands telecommunications sector with the approval of the Telecommunications Technical Assistance Project for the Solomon Islands by the World Bank board.

Competition within the sector will promote fairer prices and more reliable phone services, which is critical in Solomon Islands due to the distance between people, markets, and families. As telecommunications improve, more people will have access to phones, which will result in people in need being better connected to emergency services, farmers being better connected to markets, and those away from home being better able to speak with their families.

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A Major Step Forward for Telecommunications Development in Solomon Islands
Written by TCSI   
Wednesday, 17 February 2010 00:00

A MAJOR STEP FORWARD FOR TELECOMMUNICATIONS DEVELOPMENT IN SOLOMON ISLANDS AS TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSIONER STARTS WORK AND LOOKS TO BUILD THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

In what is an important step to ensure the Solomon Islands benefits from widespread access to modern telecommunications systems and services, the Telecommunications Commissioner officially began his duties and is already looking to recruit staff.

The Telecommunications Commission is the new industry regulator, established under the Telecommunications Act (2009). Just before Christmas, the Minister of Communication and Aviation appointed Mr. Nicholas Williams after an extensive international search. His appointment was critical as his job is to build the Commission and guide Solomon Islands through this new era of competition in the telecommunications sector. Mr Williams said “this is an exciting time to be in the Solomon Islands telecommunications sector and I am privileged and thankful to be given this opportunity”. He went on to further say, “my job will be to ensure that competition in the telecommunications sector benefits as many people as possible and contributes to the long-term sustainable development of Solomon Islands”. One of the Commissioner’s first tasks is to establish a well functioning Telecommunications Commission.

Mr. Williams said “We have placed ads this week to find staff whose job will be to support me in providing oversight of the telecoms industry. With assistance from donors, we will ensure that all staff benefit from proper training and have the skills to enable them to meet the challenges the Commission will face in liberalising and regulating a technical and fast-evolving industry”.

The Telecommunications Commission is governed by the Telecommunications Act. Broadly speaking the Telecommunications Commission will be responsible for further liberalisation of the sector, the maintenance of competition and the protection of consumer interests. Mr Williams stressed the important role of liberalisation.

"The introduction of competition through liberalisation will spur growth, both in terms of the numbers of people that will have access to telecommunications services and the number of services from which they can benefit. The Government has done a great job in licensing a second national operator, bemobile, and I and my Commission must now ensure that competition is allowed to prosper. The posts advertised will help us meet that goal."

Notes to editors

The Telecommunications Commission is a statutory independent body established under the Telecommunications Act 2009. It is headed by the Telecommunications Commissioner. The first Telecommunications Commissioner is Nicholas Williams, a UK national, formerly working in Africa, who took office on 1 February 2010.

The Telecommunications Commission is funded for its first five years from donor money. From May 2015, it is expected to be financed wholly out of licence fees paid by telecommunications operators and service providers.

 
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