Response to the Rhetorical Question, “Is 3-7-7-4-7 Better for Liberia Than 2-3-1?”

By Stephen O. Adams

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

November 8, 2004

When I read the article dated October 8, 2004, asking the question whether Liberians were better off with the 2-3-1 country code or the patched Monaco country code that facilitated terrestrial uplink to Liberia during the Taylor years of Misrule, several things came to mind. The first and most pressing concern was that the writer really may not have understood all of the ramifications and direct economic implications regarding traffic volume to a particular region and, more specifically, to a particular country.

The writer, I believe, failed to consider the big picture view that international telecommunication concerns look at the traffic pattern of call volume to a region or country to determine if it is worthwhile to extend their services or invest in infrastructural improvement. In the case of Liberia and its 3-7-7 IXC through Monaco, she had no discernable call volume over the last several yeas, and despite the fact that Liberians made perhaps millions of call minutes during this period, no credit was realized to the country for that large call volume. In addition to not realizing any benefits, the country did not get any revenue from the Lone Star Corporation for the hundred of thousands, perhaps even millions, of dollars in revenue that was rightfully due the people of Liberia.

One of the most disturbing points in the writer's piece was a quote from (John Haring) a noted western economist. While it is true that telecommunication is indeed essential in today's global economy, it is also true that the West has ensured that this essential tool is controlled by citizens of their respective countries. It is bad enough that all of the functioning telecommunication apparatus in Liberia today is controlled by Middle Eastern and now Jewish interest. This dysfunctional saga is even worse when all international calls in the country are terminated through a foreign land. The people of Liberia have not just lost all control of what is deemed a vital national security sector because of foreign control in the country; they have also exposed the leaders of the country to unabated eavesdropping as they negotiate treaties and national affairs with foreign entities.

Now then to answer the question directly "Liberia: Are you better off with "2-3-1 than you were with "3-7-7-4-7"? I say a resounding yes for the following reasons:

· Liberia’s call volume will increase significantly and arguments can be made to international concerns and donor nations for assistance in improving our deli bated telecommunications sector.

· Liberia can begin to realize revenue from the huge amount of income that has been realized by the unscrupulous foreign merchants operating during the corrupt Taylor regime.

· Based on current, now track able volume, the country can now extrapolate and require the Lone Star Corporation to pay back revenue to the people of Liberia from the corrupt Taylor regime.

· National Security interest can now begin to be addressed in the vital sector.

Finally, it’s true that some may experience a little inconvenience by not being able to get a call through on the first try. In the long run, however, as the circuits continue to be overwhelmed and the investors realize they can make money because of the demand, then like Monaco, additional capacity will be added to accommodate the significant increase in volume. So my friends, a little inconvenience today could lead to significant improvement tomorrow for all of Liberia.