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MANAGING THE CHALLENGES OF WTO PARTICIPATION: CASE STUDY 4

Barbados: Telecommunications Liberalization

Linda Schmid*

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 Disclaimer:
Opinions expressed in the case studies and any errors or omissions therein are the responsibility of their authors and not of the editors of this volume or of the institutions with which they are affiliated. The authors of the case studies wish to disassociate the institutions with which they are associated from opinions expressed in the case studies and from any errors or omission therein.

Case Studies main page
Introduction

   

ON THIS PAGE: 
I. The problem in context
II. The local and external players and their roles
> III. Challenges faced and the outcome
> IV. Lessons for others (the players’ views)


I. The problem in context    back to top

Telecommunications liberalization is a deliberate process in Barbados that offers insight into how economies participate in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and handle the global market. This case study will examine telecommunications liberalization in Barbados as a reflection of its participation in the multilateral trading system and as a response to consumer and market demand. The study will demonstrate how Barbados chose to use WTO instruments domestically and through the establishment of an independent regulator. The case will describe the catalysts for telecommunications regulatory reform, the roles of primary stakeholders, and their key decisions. The challenges and results of liberalization will be highlighted, and stakeholders will recommend improvements to the process.

Barbados is a small island state in the Caribbean heavily dependent on international trade in services. Tourism and financial services represent the majority of services exports and the main source of foreign exchange.(1) Barbados is a hub for firms operating in the Caribbean due to the island’s airlift capability and comparatively well developed transportation and communication links. Sugar, rum and crude petroleum are significant export products. Their dependence on government support and diminishing preferential trading arrangements has shifted production ‘towards niche markets of higher-priced “luxury items”…. cut flowers, speciality sugar, as well as research and development of special varieties and specialised rums’, according to economist Sherryl Burke Marshall.(2) International trade in services is the mainstay of the economy, providing consistent, annual export revenues. Barbados undertook telecommunications reform in recognition of the fundamental importance of telecommunications infrastructure to international trade in services.

Barbados is at the forefront of policy development for small island states to ameliorate their narrow range of resources, limited scale economies, and disproportionately high transportation and communication costs. As an example, in 1997 Barbados adopted the value added tax (VAT) to reduce dependence on tariffs and better position itself for trade negotiations. This is an iconic adjustment for a small island economy interested in the benefits of reduced tariff levels. As another demonstration of its leadership, Barbados supports implementation of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy for ‘the development of the region…. as it seeks to integrate into the new global economy’.(3) Telecommunications liberalization also exemplifies policy leadership for a small island economy interested in greater integration into the global market of international trade in services.

The island is a founding member of the WTO, dedicated to engagement in the multilateral trading system. Economist Sherryl Burke Marshall observed, ‘Barbados participates in the WTO to benefit small countries and small island states’. A primary interest is special and differential treatment and special status for small island developing states.(4) Barbados participated in early negotiations of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), made additional commitments in telecommunications services, and is a signatory to the Telecommunications Reference Paper.(5) As an economy deeply reliant on tourism and financial and international business services, Barbados has undertaken liberalization of its telecommunications market to enhance its competitive position and economic growth. In 2002 Senator Tyrone Barker noted, ‘the government of Barbados is committed to liberalization of telecommunications, since this process will permit Barbados to meet its commitments as a member of the WTO and signatory to the GATS’.(6)

In consultation with stakeholders and telecommunications experts, the government developed a pragmatic approach to telecommunications liberalization. It renegotiated its contract with the incumbent network, then enacted a package of legislation to transform the regulatory environment and prescribe market reform in stages. The legislative package reflects the tenets of the Telecommunications Reference Paper. Barbados chose to create provisions in its legislation on the disciplines of interconnection, independent regulator, universal service, allocation of scarce resources and competitive safeguards. These principles are of primary importance to liberalization due to the nature of the telecommunications industry. New entrants to the market must have the ability to interconnect to the incumbent network at a reasonable cost in order to provide services. An independent regulator is necessary to provide objective market oversight. Competitive safeguards are necessary to prevent anti-competitive practices by market participants. Implementation of these provisions has played a leading role in transforming the telecommunications market in Barbados.

After the passage of new legislation and the consequent establishment of an independent regulator, Barbados undertook market reform in stages. The approach is designed to provide a smooth market transition from a monopoly to a competitive environment. The Internet Service Provider (ISP) market for Internet access and domestic mobile phone services were opened to competition first. This involved the issuance of licences to competitive providers and their interconnection with the incumbent network. The process was protracted due to delays by the incumbent and required active oversight by the independent regulator. The final phase opens international long-distance and fixed line services to competition. The independent regulator will rebalance rates to ensure that the price of the service accurately reflects its cost.(7) The transformation of the telecommunications market has faced universal challenges and is a direct result of pressure from the Barbadian public and private sectors.

 
 

II. The local and external players and their roles    back to top

Barbados has a vibrant trade community with numerous vocal interests. According to a trade association representative, ‘Barbados has a culture of participatory engagement…. people work together and share information…. The government is very deliberate in including different actors in the decision-making process.’ National stakeholders help to manage Barbados’ engagement in trade negotiations and implementation of trade commitments. They come together formally as the ‘Social Partnership’ to voice their concerns and advise on trade priorities and unilateral reform. Representatives from the private sector, labour and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) exercise a well-established consultative mechanism with the government on trade policy.(8) The Chamber of Commerce, the Private Sector Trade Team, the National Union of the Fisherfolk Organization, and the primary union and employer organizations exemplify participants. Those in the Social Partnership, new telecommunications providers, telecommunications users, public officials and the press played important roles in moving Barbados to telecommunications liberalization.

Knowledge of the external market and disappointment with services domestically energized consumers to call for reform. Omar Holder, a recent graduate of Barbados Community College, recalled, ‘Liberalization was due to public complaints about cost…. [and] comparison with services available in other markets’.(9) New technology at a low cost propelled consumers to support telecommunications liberalization. A student at the University of West Indies Cave Hill Campus, Sian Cumberbatch, explained, ‘the state of the telecommunications system before liberalization forced many to go around the system by using call-back services and other technological means to bypass the licensed service provider’.(10) Consumers were vocal about the need for lower telecommunications prices. The Nation newspaper reported, ‘Barbadians have become more cognizant of their rights as consumers and now are willing to speak out on business decisions that affect them.’(11) Consumer activism helped to press the transition to liberalization forward.

High fees were having a detrimental effect on business. Firms found that companies were avoiding establishment of subsidiaries on the island due to the high cost of telecommunications. Barbados needed an economically priced, dynamic communications infrastructure to compete internationally, according to a prominent Barbadian businessman. Barbados recognized the uniqueness of the telecommunications service sector and ‘its dual role as a distinct sector of economic activity and as the underlying transport means for other economic activities’, as described in the first clause of the GATS Telecommunications Annex.(12) The high cost of the underlying transport network was creating a drag on the economy. Telecommunications users helped to create momentum for structural change in the market.

Service firms were keen on liberalization of telecommunications services. Hotels, tour operators and travel services recognized the need for a state-of-the-art network infrastructure for local and international clients. Banks, insurance firms and retailers are heavy data users that require economically priced telecommunications services to be competitive. ‘The “customer card” used [to collect purchasing data at checkout lines] in grocery stores relies on heavy-duty [data] transfers and low-cost telecommunications…. without affordable data transfers the product would not be a viable business service or venture’, explained a prominent businessman. Service companies are already at a disadvantage in the lending market due to regional loan practices that fail to recognize intellectual property and soft assets as a basis for working capital. Barbadian service firms advocated telecommunications reform to lower the cost of communications.

The advent of the Internet and public awareness of this new phenomenon created a demand for Internet access, mobile phones and greater bandwidth. According to Anthony Gunn, managing director of Carriaccess Communications, ‘New technologies changed the nature of communications services and how they are delivered to consumers’.(13) This created market space for new communication businesses. Barbadian computer professionals were eager to grab this business opportunity. Entrepreneurs responded to consumer demand for new services, and a nascent information communication technology (ICT) sector developed to build websites, create online marketing strategies for firms and provide new ICT services. Barbadian consumers and businesses wanted to use, access and offer competitively new communication technologies at home. Entrepreneurs clamoured for change in the market.

Public officials recognized how a modern information communication technology infrastructure would facilitate economic and social development. They analyzed how the global technology boom could add value to people’s lives by providing access to information and knowledge. ‘The technology environment was changing, evolving, electronic government was coming into existence and cheaper communication infrastructure was a priority’, commented economist Sherryl Burke Marshall.(14) Barbados is interested in developing a knowledge-based economy; telecommunications liberalization and the Barbados educational technology program ‘Edu-tech’ are designed for that purpose. Teachers and health professionals were aware of the opportunities for online education and online health services. The public sector viewed telecommunications liberalization as a means to better serve constituents. The government decided to develop a strategy for transition to an open market.

Another driver towards telecommunications liberalization was the press. Newspaper editorials lambasted monopoly pricing and journalists began asking questions about the telecommunications market and the absence of services that existed in foreign markets. Radio talk shows addressed the issues of telecommunications liberalization. The print and broadcast media investigated the state of the market and aired the views of consumers, firms and public officials. Journalists wrote articles about the industry and covered the public debate. The press served an important role in making industry information available and publicizing the varied aspects of the liberalization debate. ‘The press made the voters aware of the telecommunications issues’, said Grady Clarke.(15) The media’s decision to focus on telecommunications and provide coverage helped restructuring efforts.

The vibrant trade community of Barbados helped to set the stage for market reform. Exposure to information technology advances in the external market energized consumers to call for reform. Demand grew for Internet access, mobile phones and greater bandwidth. Businesses were suffering from the high cost of communications services from the monopoly. Services firms that are by their very nature heavily dependent on telecommunications infrastructure were proponents for change. Public officials were interested in the economic and social benefits of a modern information communication infrastructure, and they were ready to make the difficult decisions to change the structure of the market in Barbados. The press fanned enthusiasm for change. ‘As a signatory to the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services, Barbados had joined the global movement towards liberalization and committed itself to liberalizing telecommunications and encouraging competition within the sector’, noted Senator Tyrone Barker.(16)

 
 

III. Challenges faced and the outcome    back to top

Barbados faced the challenge of liberalizing its telecommunications market from a powerful incumbent with a firm hold on the telecommunications network. Public sentiment in favour of the transformation was evident, and the government used various means to address the challenge. One of the first obstacles to telecommunications liberalization was opposition from employees of the incumbent. Introducing competition to the monopoly was a risk to those employed by the incumbent, although over the long term telecommunications liberalization will cause the market to grow and increase employment in telecommunications services. In the short term, the incumbent inevitably has to lay off employees. Of a population of approximately 260, 000 people in Barbados, 2, 887 were employees of the incumbent provider.(17) Thus there was vocal opposition from labour to reform that would allow competition with the incumbent. The government decided that the anticipated benefits of a liberalized market in telecommunications outweighed the cost of initial dislocation and job loss. The government changed the legal structure of the market.

The central tenet of liberalization was the introduction of competition. The government negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding with the incumbent in October 2001 to bring an early end to its monopoly licence.(18) The monopoly arrangement had provided investment in infrastructure by the provider with a guaranteed return on investment over a twenty-year period. The fees on international telephone calls were to subsidize low-cost local and universal service. This arrangement worked to some degree in a static telecommunications environment; however, with new technology and demand for state-of-the-art services, the ‘monopoly bargain’ was inadequate. Incumbent services did not keep pace with new services and lower costs in other markets. As a monopoly, the incumbent had no economic incentive to match developments abroad. The Memorandum envisioned a transition period of twenty-one months ending in August 2003. The transition process continues with the opening of international long-distance service delayed to the beginning of 2005.

To transform the legal structure of the market, Barbados considered multilateral instruments. Barbados is party to the three components of the GATS that govern telecommunications services. The GATS Telecommunications Annex ensures service providers’ access to and use of public telecommunication transport networks and services, transparency in the access and use of those services, and a commitment to technical co-operation. The Basic Telecommunications Services Agreement provides for scheduled commitments in, for example, voice telephony, data transmission and private leased circuits. The Telecommunications Reference Paper has a heavy focus on the telecommunications network’s interconnection with technical, procedural and commercial disciplines, and the provision of an independent regulator. The Paper contains regulatory principles on competitive safeguards, universal service and publicly available licensing criteria. Barbados chose to use the Reference Paper as a basis to help design a regulatory environment that supports competition.

Barbados integrated the principles of the Telecommunications Reference Paper into a package of legislation and worked to apply those provisions to ensure a competitive telecommunications market. The 2001 Telecommunications Act(19) requires compliance with ‘international obligations with respect to telecommunications’. Provisions of the Act reflect the principles of the Reference Paper. Part VI of the Act, on network interconnections, states that a carrier shall provide interconnection services to its public telecommunications network on terms that are transparent and non-discriminatory; in a timely fashion, at charges that are cost oriented and ‘at points, in addition to network termination points offered to end-users, subject to the payment of charges that reflect the cost of construction of any additional facilities necessary for interconnection’. These and other provisions echo the language of the Reference Paper on its five subsidiary principles on interconnection. Access to the incumbent network is pivotal to opening the market.

The passage of this legislation demonstrates how Barbados decided to use WTO instruments domestically. Part IV of the 2001 Telecommunications Act sets out licensing requirements in conformity with the public availability of licensing criteria discipline in the Reference Paper. Part VII has universal service obligations under conditions that are ‘transparent, non-discriminatory, non-preferential, and competitively neutral’, consistent with the Reference Paper. Parts IX and X govern use of scarce resources ‘on a non-discriminatory basis’ consistent with the Reference Paper. Part VI refers disputes on interconnection to an independent body consistent with the Reference Paper. Barbados established the Fair Trading Commission (FTC) via legislation to monitor and investigate service providers and promote and maintain effective competition in the economy.(20) In 2002, the chairman of the Fair Trading Commission acknowledged the government’s new telecommunications policy as a means to meet its obligations as a signatory to the GATS.(21)

Barbados has created the legal environment and an independent regulator to help liberalize the telecommunications market and dislodge the incumbent’s hold on the market. The Telecommunications Act authorizes ‘the ownership and operation of telecommunications networks; the provision of telecommunications services on a competitive basis; and the prevention of unfair competitive practices by carriers and service providers’. Yet the incumbent is moving very slowly and has made interconnection with its backbone very difficult. For ISPs the incumbent’s execution of this process was slow. In the cellular market, licences were granted to four competitive providers but interconnection to the backbone was fraught with problems. ‘In 1998 the government said it would deregulate. The process has taken six years and is still going on. From November to January we had newspaper wars on the issue. They focused on the incumbent’s refusal to co-operate’, said Anthony Gunn.(22) To provide services competitors are reliant on interconnection to the fibre-optic network owned and operated by the incumbent. Although there is a legal requirement to provide access, the incumbent has no economic incentive. Gunn added that ‘the incumbent frustrated the process by inaction, over-quoting and red tape’.

The Barbados Fair Trading Commission is wrestling with a problem that regulators in the most sophisticated telecommunications markets tackle — how to loosen the grip of an obstructive incumbent loath to give up its profit centre. Regulators in developed and developing economies use different means to oversee and discipline reluctant incumbents including due process, incentives and punitive measures. Adherence to due process helps to develop public confidence in the independence of the regulator and the fairness of its decisions. As an incentive to the incumbent, a regulator may offer new licences to provide new services with the potential for new earnings. Regulators also use punitive measures in the form of fines or sanctions if more stringent means are necessary to influence the incumbent. The Reference Paper does not reach this level of detail but advises, ‘regulators shall be impartial with respect to all market participants’. The problem of dislodging a monopoly is a universal challenge in developed and developing economies.

Barbados continues to use a pragmatic approach to the incumbent. The Fair Trading Commission is exercising its authority to monitor and investigate the conduct of all providers and to promote and maintain effective competition in the economy(23) through regulatory hearings and adjudicative deliberations. FTC proceedings allow providers and interested parties to present their positions on regulatory issues in a transparent manner for consideration. The FTC has handed down rate adjustment and interconnection decisions affecting the operation of the incumbent and competitive providers. In a January 2005 decision, for example, the FTC reiterated its earlier findings that the incumbent had not provided sufficient or complete information to justify domestic rate changes.(24) At the same time, the incumbent will receive a new licence along with other new market players to provide long-distance services. The FTC is using incentives rather than punitive measures to continue the transition. Adhering to due process open to the public and the press has helped to validate the decisions of the FTC and continue telecommunications reform.

Creating a procompetitive telecommunications environment is also a universal challenge. The pace of the transition is slow in Barbados but consistent with liberalization in developed markets. As a WTO member, it has benefited from the proactive use of multilateral instruments in its market. The considered process of liberalization has introduced new providers and services at a lower cost. The Minister of Energy and Public Utilities said before the House of Assembly that, within six months of cellular service competition, ‘we have seen the rates charged plummeting’.(25) An observer noted that ‘the incumbent only lowered its prices for particular services when the new entrants offered new services. Unless new entrants were in the market, the incumbent would not have lowered its prices.’ Despite the difficulties with the incumbent, Barbados has experienced positive outcomes from telecommunication liberalization. At the end of 2004, in response to competition the incumbent reduced its high-speed Internet access rates by 22%.(26) In early February 2005, the three major players in the mobile market lowered their long-distance rates by almost 50%.(27) These changes can be attributed to new legislation and a regulatory environment that supports competition. The continuing transformation of Barbados’ telecommunications market will depend on the independent regulator’s ability to oversee the incumbent.

The benefits that have accrued to the market from liberalization in ISP and mobile services are also incentives for continuing the transition. Shantal Munro-Knight noted, ‘Liberalization has drastically reduced [telecommunications] costs…. calls have become cheaper for the consumer…. incoming calls on cell phones are now free.’(28) Competitive mobile services in Barbados have provided cost savings to consumers and businesses. Telecommunications rates have fallen drastically, according to a local telecommunications expert. Mobile communications are functioning as a conduit for traditional and new services and minimizing the need for fixed line infrastructure. For example, a Barbadian firm plans to offer credit checks for display on cellular phones as a service to small retailers. Mobile phones are being used in some markets to pay bills, take photographs and provide short messaging services. As an affordable piece of technology that offers new services to many individuals, the mobile phone is an important benefit that continues to fuel the transition.

Greater telecommunications penetration and lower cost will also sustain the transition. Cellular mobile penetration rates have risen to over 50% of inhabitants and the number of Internet users has increased from 15, 000 in 2001 to 100, 000 in 2003.(29) ‘Deregulation of the cellular/mobile market brought prices down and connected gardeners, fishermen — everyone’, according to Anthony Gunn.(30) He added that the ‘most significant impact of deregulation is growth in the telecommunications market. In 2002, annual telecommunication investment grew by 64%.(31) Consumption has increased and individuals who could not afford telecommunications services previously were able to become consumers at lower prices.’ The introduction of affordable pricing methods has expanded penetration. The ability to prepay for mobile services has made mobile phones accessible to those who could not afford subscriber service.

In Barbados, mobile telephones are providing technology services such as text messaging, Internet access and databases to individuals with limited resources for personal computers. A local resident gave this personal account.

An itinerant gardener who makes his way to work and carries his tools with him on his bicycle passed me while I was in a traffic jam. I needed help with my garden, flagged him down, and asked if he might be available. I reached for a pen and paper. He pulled out his cell phone, entered my data, and that evening I had a phone message to schedule a garden site visit. He was using his cell phone as a client database. Individuals with minimal economic means are employing this lower cost technology to enhance the way they work and communicate with others.

Telecommunications liberalization has had a multiplier effect on the economy, created additional business and added to government revenues. Omar Holder, the recent University of West Indies graduate, said, ‘telecommunications liberalization creates business for other companies…. [for] example advertising…. [and] prepaid phone cards’. He observed, ‘there are taxes on cell phone calls, thus money goes to the government [providing] direct increase in government revenue’. Liberalization has increased employment in the telecommunications sector. Central Bank governor Marion Williams ‘projected that during 2004, the ongoing liberalization of the telecommunications market will gain momentum…. the level of employment should increase in…. telecommunications industries, with the projected expansion and economic activity and the coming on stream of the new cellular phone providers’.(32) Increases in employment and access to new technology at a competitive price are the incentives that will continue to drive the liberalization process forward in Barbados.

 
 

IV. Lessons for others (the players’ views)    back to top

Stakeholders offered different views on the transition, encompassing the renegotiation of the Memorandum of Understanding with the incumbent, the creation of new legislation, the establishment of an independent regulator and the actual move to market reform. From witnessing this process, an observer asked the question, ‘Can countries that liberalise afford a watchdog?’ Extricating a monopoly provider from a potentially booming industry requires a swift, expert, independent agency that knows the industry and the issues at hand. Barbados experienced postponements in spectrum licensing and delays in the liberalization phase of international and fixed line services.(33) According to Anthony Gunn, ‘the private sector was not sufficiently involved in the legislative or regulatory adjustments that were made’.(34) Greater government consultation with the new value-added telecommunications providers in the market could have helped to provide a check on the interests of those defending the status quo.

Creating regulatory institutions that are technically and procedurally adept at overseeing a pro-competitive market in telecommunications or other newly liberalized services such as banking, insurance or securities is a challenge to WTO members with limited financial and human resources. It is not only a question of cost but is also a question of technical and management know-how and the ability to assess the respective markets. These structures can also be highly politicized. There is a human dimension to bringing an independent regulatory institution into existence. The regulator must be staffed with skilled experts in the sector and individuals with expertise in a competitive market and procedural knowledge. There are also potential regulatory gaps with a new regulator and a steep learning curve for procedure. ‘Commission hearings are an expensive process…. ultimately borne by the consumer…. perhaps there could have been a way to streamline the process’, noted an observer of the transition.

In hindsight, a local entrepreneur observed that the government ‘should have talked to other telecommunications providers in earlier stages’. There should have been a more aggressive interpretation of telecommunications law. He advised that the regulator ‘should have taken a more hard-nosed approach toward the incumbent…. for example, by having them open their books’. The Fair Trading Commission ‘should have been more aggressive in combating delaying tactics’. Advanced information technology services in Barbados would have been out of the starting blocks earlier in that case. Due to the slow pace of change this entrepreneur moved his firm’s data processing and Internet back-office services to another market; he noted that ‘the press had done a fair job of reporting on the telecommunications issues’. The coverage would have been better if they had employed a specialist in telecommunications.

Public attention to the process has helped. The press reported diligently on Fair Trading Commission hearings on interconnection charges. The Barbados Association of Nongovernmental Organizations (BANGO), The Barbados Consumer Research Organization Inc. (BARCO) and other stakeholders participated as interveners to express their concerns. They are monitoring rebalancing and rate adjustment and working to ensure that the incumbent is not given preferential treatment.(35) Shantal Munro-Knight of the Caribbean Policy Development Centre (CPDC) noted that the process of telecommunications liberalization is important to the constituents of CPDC. She said that the Centre is ‘examining the conditions under which the telecommunications incumbent is de-monopolizing — CPDC is looking at rates, interconnection and other issues’.(36) The Centre is interested in maintaining universal service and concerned with what will happen when the market levels off. As a signatory to the Telecommunications Reference Paper, Barbados ‘has the right to define the kind of universal service obligation it wishes to maintain’.(37) NGOs’ attention to regulatory proceedings complements due process and acts as an additional check on the actions of the incumbent.

Barbados uses different WTO instruments to enhance its domestic policy environment. In addition to the Reference Paper, the ‘Trade Policy Review Mechanism helps the government to best tinker with the structures in place to better integrate itself into the world economy…. As an actor in the global market, Barbados works to make interfacing with the international community more transparent and easy’, observed economist Sherryl Burke Marshall.(38) The mechanism is a vehicle for the government to see what they are doing and make sure it makes sense, she added. Review results are intentionally made public to enhance transparency in the marketplace. According to a member of a Barbados trade association, ‘As a country integrated into the world economy, it was natural for Barbados to be part of a body that governs trade and investment, the World Trade Organization.’

Barbados also works with WTO members in different WTO Councils to consult on trade issues. In February 2004, the island formally presented to WTO members its implementing legislation for the TRIPS Agreement. As a ‘conscious policy of modernising its system of intellectual property rights’, Barbados undertook legislative reform and shared those results with WTO members in the Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property.(39) As part of that process, Barbados responded to questions from Australia, Japan and other WTO members about its new legislation. Affirmative engagement in the Trade Policy Review Mechanism in 2002 and engagement with WTO members in the TRIPS Council demonstrates how a small island state makes use of its WTO membership.

The experience of Barbados with telecommunications liberalization exemplifies how WTO members use the organization to their benefit. The Barbadian desire for a dynamic information communications market for the island propelled the transition to a liberalized environment. As an economy dependent on trade in services, Barbados adjusted domestic policy using WTO instruments as a reference to improve telecommunications services as a unique activity and as the foundation for other service activities. The phased approach to telecommunications liberalization in Barbados made the Internet accessible, expanded mobile communications, and brought in new technology services despite interconnection delays. The oversight of an active, independent regulator, public scrutiny and access to new services will continue to fuel the transition. Barbados works with other members in the WTO to benefit small island economies through astute use of WTO instruments, active engagement and articulate leadership to mitigate the challenges of liberalization and make real the benefits.

 
 

NOTES:
1.- Barbados National Strategy for Trade Capacity Building, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, October 2003. back to text
2.- Sherryl Burke Marshall, Economist, Prime Minister’s Office, interview, 15 April 2004. back to text
3.- Barbados National Strategy for Trade Capacity Building, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, October 2003. back to text
4.- Sherryl Burke Marshall, Economist, Prime Minister’s Office, interview, 15 April 2004. back to text
5.- Barbados Draft Consolidated Schedule of Specific Commitments [GATS], WTO Document S/DCS/W/BRB, 24 Jan. 2003. back to text
6.- Senator Tyrone Barker, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Economic Development, speech to the Workshop on Costing Interconnect and Access Services in the Caribbean, October 2002. back to text
7.- Rate rebalancing is the adjustment of rates charged for domestic and international telephone services. The result of the adjustment should be a rate that reflects the actual cost of providing the service, http://www.ftc.gov.bb/. back to text
8.- Barbados National Strategy for Trade Capacity Building, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, October 2003. back to text
9.- Omar Holder, graduate, Barbados Community College, interview, 7 May 2004. back to text
10.- Sian Cumberbatch, student, University of West Indies at Cave Hill, interview, 7 May 2004. back to text
11.- ‘Telecommunications Giant in for a Fight’, The Nation, 1 Sept. 2003. back to text
12.- General Agreement on Trade in Services, Telecommunications Annex, http://www. wto.org. back to text
13.- Anthony A. R. Gunn, managing director, Carriaccess Communications, interview, 7 April 2004. back to text
14.- Sherryl Burke Marshall, Economist, Prime Minister’s Office, interview, 15 April 2004. back to text
15.- Grady Clarke, managing director, Caribbean Credit Bureau Ltd, interview, 6 June 2004. back to text
16.- Senator Tyrone Barker, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Economic Development, speech to the Workshop on Costing Interconnect and Access Services in the Caribbean, October 2002 . back to text
17.- Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Directory. back to text
18.- Cable and Wireless News Release: Cable and Wireless and the Barbados Government Sign Memorandum of Understanding, 16 Oct. 2001. back to text
19.- 2001-36, http://www.ftc.gov.bb/. back to text
20.- Mr Justice Frank King, Chairman, Fair Trading Commission, Barbados, Canto Conference, 18 June 2002, http://www.ftc.gov.bb. back to text
21.- Ibid. back to text
22.- Anthony A. R. Gunn, managing director, Carriaccess Communications, interview, 7 April 2004. back to text
23.- Mr Justice Frank King, chairman, Fair Trading Commission, Barbados, Canto Conference, 18 June 2002, http://www.ftc.gov.bb. back to text
24.- FTC Decision and Order in the Matter of the Application for a Review of the Decision of the Fair Trading Commission Dated 20th July 2004, No. 4 of 2004, 17 Jan. 2005. back to text
25.- ‘50% Hooked’, The Nation, 27 Oct. 2004. back to text
26.- Cable and Wireless Press Release, 3 Dec. 2004. back to text
27.- ‘Cingular Cuts Charges’, The Nation, 4 Feb. 2005. back to text
28.- Shantal Munro-Knight, Programme Officer, Caribbean Policy Development Centre, interview, 6 April 2004. back to text
29.- International Telecommunications Union Statistics. back to text
30.- Anthony A. R. Gunn, managing director, Carriaccess Communications, interview, 7 April 2004. back to text
31.- International Telecommunications Union Statistics. back to text
32.- ‘Economic Growth Expected in 2004’, Web Posted SIDSnet, 6 February 2004. back to text
33.- Ian Worrell, vice-president, Corporate Communications, Sunbeach Barbados, Case Study: Barbados, CARIBCAM Mobile Conference, November 2003. back to text
34.- Anthony A. R. Gunn, managing director, Carriaccess Communications, interview, 7 April 2004. back to text
35.- Fair Trading Commission Hearing Report in the Matter of the Utilities Regulation Act 2000-30 and in the Matter of the Application by Cable and Wireless (Barbados) Limited to the Fair Trading Commission for Rate Adjustments pursuant to Section 16 of the Utilities Regulation Act 2000-30, February 2004,  http://www.ftc.gov.bb/. back to text
36.- Shantal Munro-Knight, Programme Officer, Caribbean Policy Development Centre, interview, 6 April 2004. back to text
37.- WTO Telecommunications Reference Paper, http://www.wto.org. back to text
38.- Sherryl Burke Marshall, Economist, Prime Minister’s Office, interview, 15 April 2004. back to text
39.- Council for Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Review of Legislation, Barbados, IP/Q/BRB/1, 9 Feb. 2004. back to text
 

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* Trade in Services Officer, International Trade Centre, Geneva. Previously Trade Director for Caribbean Trade and Competitiveness Program, USAID.