Just a few decades ago, Guam consumers had to endure a very costly and antiquated phone system and other ways of communicating with the outside world.
Long-distance calls to friends, family and for work purposes could set back one's pocket by hundreds of dollars a month.
A legislative public hearing on Wednesday for certain telecom appointees to government boards became the springboard for a discussion about how far Guam's telecom services and affordability of costs has advanced.
The days of costly phone calls and dial-up Internet are long gone. The former government of Guam monopoly over voice phone service are nothing but a faraway memory.
And while the various advancements in technology can take part of the credit, we who live on Guam should also thank the robust competition today from key players like DOCOMO PACIFIC, GTA, iConnect and IT&E, and for providing not just phone service but also bringing entertainment and connectivity to our homes and businesses via the Internet.
Most of the phone calls we make, according to some of the telecom representatives, are no longer done through the traditional voice phone service. Many phone calls are now done through the use of the newer voice of Internet technologies.
Guam's geographic location as a key transit hub for undersea cables – through which massive data traverse between the Asia Pacific and the U.S. mainland – has helped us avail of some of the fastest online connections available in developed communities.
Online connectivity wise, Guam has got some of the best the world has to offer.
Competition in Guam's telecom has meant improvements to service and affordability for Guam consumers.
A robust competition should be explored for the utility and public transportation sectors as well.
There must be a way to break down the remaining monopolies on this island for an improved quality of life.