POLICY AIMS: 1.1 TELECOMMUNICATIONS
Telecommunications is expected to make a leading contribution to national development, and is also of increasing importance to business.
Accordingly, the Ministry will make sure that telecommunication services are provided efficiently and in sufficient quantity, and are of a quality and variety that meet the economic and social needs of the country at affordable prices.
The Ministry expects the standards of service to match the best in Africa.
To achieve these objectives, the Ministry has set the following targets-
(b) to raise quality of service to international standards.
At present, the telephone network suffers from congestion and a high level of faults. Investment in modern facilities will do much to improve quality of services. But a more business-like management of the network is also essential to maintain high standards.
To make progress, a programme will be prepared and targets agreed with MPTC for the provision of public telecommunication facilities in rural areas, through payphones, community phones and other means. In addition, community information centres bringing together public telecommunications and other means of access to information will be developed in rural areas.
(i) the establishment of an independent regulatory
body which will license operators and service providers ;
(ii) the re-organisation of the existing network operations along commercial lines;
(iii) the separation of posts from telecommunications
(iv) the introduction of private capital, management and technical expertise with the objective of eventual privatisation of the National Operator.
MPTCs telecommunications business will be transferred to a new company, Malawi Telecom, to be set up under the Companies Act as an autonomous commercial entity. Malawi Telecom will initially be 100% owned by the Government, but consideration will be given to how best to allow the private sector to participate in its activities.
Postal services will continue to be provided by a statutory corporation, to be called Malawi Posts.
To enable this strategy to be implemented, Parliament will be asked to enact fresh legislation. Under its provisions, MPTC will divest itself of direct responsibility for the regulation of telecommunications. This responsibility will be assumed by an autonomous entity, the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA). In future, all telecommunication services will be provided on a commercial basis, by businesses which will be accountable to their owners and to MACRA through the licensing process. The effective separation of regulation from operations should offer a strong reassurance for users, staff, potential investors and the general public that the improvement of the provision of services will have overriding priority.
Next: 1.2 Postal Services