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By Mimosa Cullwick

PORT VILA, Vanuatu (June 22, 2000 - Vanuatu Weekly/PINA Nius Online)---Vanuatu's longtime telecommunication monopoly will end soon with the introduction of another telecommunication company whose technicians are currently in Vanuatu.

Deputy Prime Minister Stanley Reginald, who is the Minister of Infrastructure, visited Auckland, New Zealand last week to accompany two Freedom Telecommunications Company (FTC) technicians to Santo.

For more than the past two decades, TVL, Telecommunications Vanuatu Limited, has been the sole telecommunications operator in Vanuatu. It has had a strong hold over the industry.

According to an advisor to Agriculture Minister Peter Tali, who was part of the delegation, the Deputy Prime Minister said the existing telecommunications monopoly will end.

He also said that despite the years of telecommunications in the country, many of Vanuatu's islands are still very isolated. Even after the local governments had requested that TVL remedy the situation, very little was done.

The FTC technicians are identifying preferable sites for setting up dishes and antennas on Santo.

They are also holding talks with the Sanma province officials and the Lord Mayor of Luganville to ensure there will be no disputes over land once the company sets up their equipment.

Freedom Telecommunications Company, an American company whose regional sub-office is in Auckland, has already set up in Samoa. Vanuatu is the second Pacific Island country in which it is looking to set up service.

Mr. Tali the cost of equipment and set up in Vanuatu will cost about US$ 50 million.

The company has already ordered their equipment from the U.S.

The equipment is expected to arrive in Vanuatu within two months.

The company plans to set up its headquarter on Santo and service Santo and islands to the north before extending to the rest of Vanuatu.

For additional reports from the Vanuatu Weekly/Hebdomadaire, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Other News Resources/ Vanuatu Weekly/Hebdomadaire.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: 

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For many years there has been an effort to keep the poor poorer. Advanced countries use many outlets for virtually free communication throughout the world using only data. Facebook, skype to skype and the best of all now is WeChat but Vanuatu keep blocking the join up.

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