Telecommunications in Barbados - History

History

Barbados has had various forms of Communications as early as the 1840s. Some of the earliest expressions of inter-island communication includes a number of signal stations built along the high points of the island to relay acts of transgression towards the island to the Saint Ann's Garrison on the south-west coast. The first telephone network in the country was developed in 1884. As the former British Empire's All Red Line came into existence during the early 1900s, Barbados played an important role as a crucial link in the trans-Atlantic communications network. By 1935 a hard wired cable-based radio network was later deployed throughout the country to broadcast the Rediffusion service directly from London to homes and business across Barbados. In 2001 the Government of Barbados and the local Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC) provider, Cable & Wireless signed a MOU beginning a phased process of liberalisation of the international segment of Barbados' telecommunications sector. The process was aimed at bringing Barbados' sector into compliance with the World Trade Organisation (WTO). The plan outlined the first phase commencing on 1 December 2001 and the entire process ending with full liberalisation being achieved on 1 August 2003. As these target dates were missed, the Phase I process was later commenced on 1 November 2002, with Phase II and III beginning on 16 November 2003 and 21 February 2004 respectively. Full liberalisation was attained in February, 2005, for the international telecommunications services market.

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