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II. Reconstruct Communications and Postal Systems

Goal:  Restore fixed phone capabilities, Establish wireless service; Establish Comprehensive Regulatory framework; Establish nationwide emergency service; Invest in computers for ministry; and Establish Postal Service

Saddamís Legacy

Under the Regime, telephone access was a privilege that was awarded to the few. As a result, the country has 4 telephones per 100 inhabitants, considerably below the regional norm. Connectivity between the provinces is poor. Most of the exchanges date back to 1970ís with little modern equipment.

Prior to the war, Iraq had a single telephone network, which was operated by state-owned Iraqi Telecommunications and Posts Company, a monopoly provider, and possessed only rudimentary capabilities for connecting voice traffic over an antiquated fiber optic network. Iraq had no data network, and Internet access was provided to only a handful of the power elite. This lack of a mature telecommunications system has a direct impact on the development of an advanced financial and banking sector. Additionally, with few exceptions, telecommunications and postal facilities were completely looted, and domestic postal transport capabilities were limited. The postal delivery remains slow and irregular. International mail has been delivered mainly through land transport via Jordan or Turkey.

Coalition Partner Activities to Improve Communications Sector

CPA partners are focusing on activities that will:

∑ Restore fixed phone capabilities and establish wireless service

∑ Establish nationwide emergency service

∑ Establish Postal Service

∑ Establish comprehensive sector regulatory framework

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