Este informe no está disponible en español.


The Telephone Revolution; Unfinished Business


June 17, 2004
Copyright © 2004 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

The introduction and commercialization of a new technology always brings tremendous opportunities for economic development and business growth.

Such is the case of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which promises to revolutionize telephone communication as we know it. Whereas in traditional phone systems, the voice signal travels over copper wire lines, with VoIP the voice is converted into a digital signal that travels over the Internet.

VoIP is poised to become the most economical mode of communication for businesses and consumers alike, leaving behind the traditional telephone systems.

VoIP is growing in acceptance, and it seems inevitable that this cheaper, more versatile, efficient technology will play an important role in the world’s telephone communications. It can also mean immediate cost-savings and improved efficiency for businesses that choose to implement it. In fact, many individual consumers and businesses in Puerto Rico have already implemented it, and others are looking at the pros and cons of VoIP.

One reason this new technology is going to be cheaper than regular phone service is the federal government’s policy to regulate the Internet as little as possible to foster its potential for economic development.

For companies and industry sectors that have relied on and heavily invested in older technologies, however, the introduction and acceptance of new technologies brings new challenges. Such is the case with Puerto Rico Telephone, which for decades has developed and maintained a network of traditional telephone wire lines. As a forward-looking company, however, PRT isn’t resting on its laurels but is meeting the challenge. It has already announced the introduction of its own VoIP service.

This telephone revolution not only brings cheaper and more efficient telephone services to consumers and businesses, but also represents a great opportunity for the nation’s economy as a whole.

"The need to rip out and replace the nation’s infrastructure is stimulating previously moribund capital spending; it is opening new paths to growth and increasing our nation’s productivity; and it holds out the promise for new jobs as businesses and consumers increasingly unleash the power of broadband," said Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell.

We agree.

Unfinished business

In the wake of front-page CARIBBEAN BUSINESS stories alerting the business community to an avalanche of pending antibusiness legislation, the past couple of weeks have seen unprecedented activism on the part of some business associations and individual businesses. They have voiced their opposition and urged legislators to do the right thing by putting Puerto Rico’s economic well-being over their petty election-year, vote-getting gimmicks.

As our discredited Legislature continues to move forward to approve some of the pending antibusiness bills, however, their urging will have to move to La Fortaleza.

Gov. Calderon was a businesswoman before she entered electoral politics. If anyone in government has it, she must have a sense of how harmful to Puerto Rico’s business climate and economic development all of that antibusiness legislation will be. And as she isn’t running for re-election, she isn’t beholden to any interest that might affect her politically. At this point, Calderon should be concerned about her legacy to Puerto Rico.

Don’t be afraid to let her know how you, as businesspeople, feel about the avalanche of antibusiness legislation that might soon hit her desk for her signature. We still hold out hope that if our legislators can’t get it through their thick skulls how much damage it causes Puerto Rico to continue making it more difficult and more expensive to do business here, our governor will know to tell them: "No way, Jose. The buck stops here."

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
For further information, please contact:



Self-Determination Legislation | Puerto Rico Herald Home
Newsstand | Puerto Rico | U.S. Government | Archives
Search | Mailing List | Contact Us | Feedback