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#870: ACN: A response

Posted anonymously

> From: "Ambassade d'Haïti" <embassy@haiti.org> 
> Date: Tue, 26 Oct 1999 14:01:59 -0200 
> Subject: Re: ACN 
> Priority: normal 
> X-mailer: Pegasus Mail for Win32 (v3.12a) 
> Date sent:              Fri, 15 Oct 1999 16:40:02 -0400 
> To:                             embassy@haiti.org 
> Subject:                ACN 
> > To Whom It May Concern: 
> > 
> > Please do what you can to re-open ACN in Haiti.  Shutting it down may
> > to pad some people's pockets in the short term, but in the bigger
> > it is counter-productive, counter-freedom, and is just one more way Haiti 
> > seems to be on a path of self destruct.  Mesi et bon korage, 
> In response to your letter of protest dated October 15, 1999, I would
like to
> share with you the following facts: 
> The Executive Committee of the National Telecommunications Council (CONATEL)
> of the Republic of Haiti proceeded with a series of surprise visits on
> September 27, 1999 to its license-holders following complaints from the
> national telephone company (TELECO) that international calls [and the
> provided by same] were being fraudulently diverted. 
> The first visit undertaken was to the office of Alpha Communication Network
> (ACN) where officials observed numerous irregularities including the
> installation of unauthorized equipment. At the request of CONATEL and in the
> presence of officials from TELECO a magistrate proceeded to the premises of
> ACN. Subsequently, CONATEL temporarily suspended the usage license
granted to
> the firm. 
> Another visit was made the same day to the firm DIGICOM in Boutilliers
> of  Haiti?s capital Port-au-Prince] where unauthorized equipment was also
> dismantled and placed under seal. 
> On Thursday, September 30, 1999 CONATEL held a meeting in its offices with
> two officials from ACN. This occasion was used to inform them of the actions
> which they needed to take with regard to their equipment to allow the
> of sanctions against them. In this way, a list of urgent steps to be
taken by
> ACN was communicated to them and they agreed to comply in the shortest
> possible time. 
> On Tuesday, October 5, 1999, a second meeting took place at CONATEL with
> representatives of ACN during which the latter recognized their faults and
> demanded a reduction in the penalties imposed by CONATEL. ACN?s
> representatives also desired to consult with their President and
> Director-General on this question. At that point another meeting was
> scheduled for the following day. 
> On October 7, 1999, DIGICOM , after having satisfied the demands by
> particularly in paying the fine imposed upon them - was authorized to renew
> services to their clientele. 
> In conclusion, the Embassy of Haiti wishes to point out the fact that ACN
> not return to the discussion table and that the lifting of sanctions against
> ACN depends upon their fulfilling the conditions to which they agreed at the
> meeting of September 30th. 
> Moreover, CONATEL, which subsequently inspected the facilities of numerous
> radio stations [possessing Internet broadcast capability] and other Internet
> Service Providers (ISPs) in the country, promises to continue with such
> inspections as it deems necessary. 
> I hope this sheds more light on a situation which has nothing to do with the
> abrogation of  free speech in Haiti.  
> Sincerely, 
> John Kozyn, Consultant Embassy of Haiti