Pacific Data Systems will offer customers local telephone service John Day president and chief operating officer for Pacific Data Systems; told the Journal.

Day said that before Pacific Data Systems decided to go into the local service market it looked at all of the telecommunication markets including wireless service Internet service cable long distance and local service. All of the other services had a variety of providers but there was only one local service provider. GTA is the only local service provider on island. "Before GTA was sold we looked at the opportunities and the other businesses weren’t attractive. Right now there is no competition [in the local service market]."

Before being able to provide local telephone service Pacific Data Systems had to receive a Certificate of Authority from the Public Utilities Commission. The certificate allows Pacific Data Systems to provide the service. PUC awarded Pacific Data Systems the certificate in September 2005.

After Pacific Data Systems was granted the Certificate of Authority it had to work out an interconnection agreement with GTA. The negotiations for the interconnection agreement began late 2005 and took about a year. Day said "We’re the first ones to have this agreement. We are now in the process of implementing the agreement and the island wide footprint. Right now we’re building out the network."

He said that GTA was required to make its network available to Pacific Data Systems. Day said that it wouldn’t be installing separate lines; it would be using GTA’s lines.

Pacific Data Systems is able to do this because of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. "The law allows companies to go through the process to provide local services to customers " Day said.

He said that Pacific Data Systems will begin offering local service in April but the network wouldn’t be serving the entire island for about another year.

Day said that Pacific Data Systems would be able to provide more capabilities at a lesser price starting around $50 without any extra services. Day said that with only one local service provider on island the customer service experience was not always a good one. "No matter how they were treated they only had one choice. The people on Guam are well-connected sophisticated and have high expectations. People are looking for a new choice."

Although the service will be available to everyone Day said that Pacific Data Systems would be concentrating on businesses both big and small and the local and federal government.

Pacific Data Systems has been in business since 1969. It started out as a computer learning school and moved on to providing technology solutions. Pacifc Data Systems has offices on Guam the Northern Mariana Islands and Hawaii. "We have experience with the telecomm industry and know the Guam market " he said.

Because Pacific Data Systems will be interconnecting with GTA’s lines service after a typhoon or other types of natural disasters will partly be dependant upon GTA but Pacific Data Systems own network would not be affected by natural disasters. "We understand the types of situations that can occur. Almost all of our network will be underground or in hardened facilities."

Day would not say specifically how much would be spent implementing the new local service but he did say that it would cost millions. MBJ