Fiber optic bill signed into law

THE path to bring increased Internet speed in Palau is well on its way following the signing into law of the fiber optic bill on September 20.
President Remengesau signed the “historic” fiber optic legislation that would pave the way for “high speed” Internet technology in Palau. President Tommy Remengesau Jr. signed the measure now known as RPPL No. 9-47, which establishes Belau Submarine Cable Corporation (BSCC) as the entity which has the authority to own, manage, and procure fiber optic cable for Palau.
The controversial bill had to undergo several changes at the Senate committee which was rejected by the House of Delegates when the version gave Palau
National Communication Corporation (PNCC) exclusive rights over all telecommunications within the Republic of Palau and that any new telecom
company has to get PNCC permission in order to operate.
However, the first Senate version of the bill is not in accordance with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) requirement for the investment loan financing to acquire the submarine fiber optic cable.
The House rejection had automatically set up a conference committee.
But in a political move, majority of the senators then disregarded the Senate version and went ahead and agreed with the House of Delegates’ version instead
which establishes a new corporation.
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