The government of the Cooks Islands has made a call for submissions on its draft Telecommunications Market Competition Policy 2019 which has the prime objective of ensuring that there is competition and liberalization of the telecom sectors in the Cooks Island in a manner that drive down costs to the consumers and also ensure that companies deliver their equitably to all parts of the Islands. In a news report in the Cook Islands News, deputy Prime Minister Mark Brown, in throwing more light on the draft Policy said the it is the government’s commitment of ensuring affordable and quality telecommunications and internet service for all Cook Islanders.
The impact of the Internet on businesses and the global economy has been crucial in shaping new economic models, and at the same time, raising new concerns.
The Internet is one of the primary drivers of economic growth, which is visible in many countries that have placed the development of ICT as one of the primary tools for boosting the economy.
The need for people to gain access to ICT resources and narrow the digital divide is crucial, and is especially relevant now in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also important to understand how access to the Internet affects the level of economic and social development in a country.
Internet access is growing rapidly, yet large groups of people remain unconnected to the Internet. As of 2015, about 43% of people had access to the Internet (in developing countries only 34%). Access to ICTs is part of the Sustainable Development Agenda, which commits to ‘significantly increase access to ICTs and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020’ (Goal 9.c).