(TCSI): The government of the Cook Islands has appointed Bernard Hill to head the country’s telecommunications regulator.
Mr. Hill is the current Commissioner of the Telecommunications Commission Solomon Islands (TCSI).
According to the pacific nation’s news network Cook Islands News, Mr. Hill is expected to begin his new stint with the Competition and Regulatory Authority when the TCSI Commissioner’s post becomes vacant at the end of next month.
The TCSI Commissioner was appointed to the role by Cook Islands Government following a recommendation from an evaluation committee.
Cook Islands’ Deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown officially announced his government’s appointment of a new chairman for the recently established telecommunications regulator.
“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Hill to this very important role as the first Cook Islands’ telecommunications regulator,” said in his announcement.
Among the new chairman’s first tasks will be the planned break-up of the monopoly currently held by Vodafone in the Cook Islands market.
“The Authority and its Chair are critical to ensuring a successful transition from the current monopoly situation to an efficient, effective and competitive telecommunications market for the benefit of the industry and consumers,” the Deputy Prime Minister remarked.
Bernard Hill is currently the Telecommunications Commissioner for the Solomon Islands, and previously worked as the Head of Competition Affairs for the communications regulatory authority in Hong Kong.
He will oversee the process of tendering for a new operating licence in the Cook Islands telecommunications market as stipulated in the new Telecommunications Act.
Responding to the government’s announcement, Vodafone Cook Islands CEO Phillip Henderson said his company looked forward to working with Mr. Hill.
“As a licensed operator Vodafone looks forward to working with Mr Hill to deliver on the outcomes of the new Act. We are anticipating that the Authority will release regulations over the coming months associated with the telecoms sector and Vodafone will ensure that we will be in full compliance,” Mr. Henderson said in a statement.
The official process of inviting a potential telecom operator to rival Vodafone Cook Islands will begin next month.