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#895: Re: #870: ACN: Augustin replies to Kozyn




From: felix Augustin <felix_augustin@hotmail.com>

Dear John Kozyn,

I read your response letter about CONATEL's decision to shut down ACN.  
Living in the US and witnessing day after day the growth of the internet, 
how can you say that CONATEL's action has nothing to do with the abrogation 
of free speech in Haiti.  Shutting down a company like ACN proves that 
CONATEL wants Haiti to always be in the dark and to keep Haitians from 
reaching out to each other via the internet which is a powerful 
communication medium.  It is obvious that 10 years from now, the internet 
will be the determining economical and educational factor between countries 
that take advantage of it now and those that don't.  CONATEL's action is 
simply to perpetuate the long time monopoly that old fashionned, ill-equiped 
TELECO maintains in the Haitian communication industry.

You mention the following: "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 were being fraudulently diverted... Subsequently, 
CONATEL temporarily suspended the usage license granted to the firm.  
Another visit was made the same day to the firm DIGICOM in Boutilliers 
[north of  Haitiís capital Port-au-Prince] where unauthorized equipment was 
also dismantled and placed under seal."

This is pure MACOUTISM.  How do you explain that the international calls 
made by ACN were fraudulent?  What do you mean by the unauthorized 
equipment?  That's belony!  It is all about: COMPETITION, MORE CHOICES, 
TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION, BETTER SERVICE.  What ACN, DIGICOM and other 
Haitian Internet Service Providers (ISP) are doing for Haitians are exactly 
what all other internet companies around the globe are doing so that their 
people can have the same exact privilege that you an I are enjoying in the 
US.  Why can't we have it in Haiti? Just because Bell Atlantic provides me a 
local phone access or because AT&T is my long distance carrier does not mean 
I can't use the internet to bypass their connection.  This is done every 
day.  Companies like AT&T, MCI, Sprint have to keep up with the 
technological change but they cannot ask the government to shut down AOL, 
DELTA THREE, or NET2PHONE who allow people to use the internet to make long 
distance phone calls.

CONATEL's action is simply Dum (with a capital D) especially when it fails 
the consider the impact on other businesses and individuals connecting with 
ACN.  Let me tell you this: One cannot stop technology.  The need for 
communication is there and it must be satisfied with or without ACN.  Teleco 
lags behind in technology. It cannot respond to the new demand of the 
internet.  If CONATEL cares about Haiti, it should open the communication 
market to the new companies and let TELECO, because of its infrastructure, 
be the supporting force behind these companies in this new wave of 
communication era.

Thanks
Felix Augustin




From: Robert Corbett <bcorbett@netcom.com>
Reply-To: Robert Corbett <bcorbett@netcom.com>
To: Haiti mailing list <haiti@lists.webster.edu>
Subject: #870: ACN: A response
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 1999 12:24:21 -0800 (PST)


Posted anonymously

 >
 > From: "Ambassade d'HaÔti" <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
serve
 >
 > > to pad some people's pockets in the short term, but in the bigger
picture,
 > > 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
revenue
 > provided by same] were being fraudulently diverted.
 >
 > The first visit undertaken was to the office of Alpha Communication 
Network
 > (ACN) nd 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
[north
 > of  Haitiís 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
lifting
 > 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. ACNís
 > 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
CONATEL -
 > 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
did
 > 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











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