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Guernsey E-Commerce

a global centre for e-commerce 

Guernsey has had a thriving and well regulated finance industry for over thirty years and is in the top league of offshore centres.

In early 2000, the States of Guernsey recognised the importance of having Guernsey in the top tier of e-commerce and as an initial step, appointed top UK law firm Bird and Bird to draft new e-commerce legislation. The the then Board of Industry was given the task of developing the e-commerce strategy. Since then an e-commerce department has been set up under the control of an E-Commerce Director Kevin Green to oversee the development of Guernsey as a world leading centre of excellence. Mr Green comes with a wealth of experience in the e-commerce arena including his own consultancy company.

As a small community, Guernsey can introduce change rapidly and is in an ideal position to contribute to and participate in the new e-commerce global community. It has a high concentration of leading support services in IT, accountancy, law, banking, actuarial, PR, advertising and insurance. 

The island has a lot to offer e-commerce including:

  • an effective technological infrastructure with fibre optic connections to the UK and France that equate to one third of the total capacity of the rest of Great Britain.

  • favourable regulatory and tax environment (no VAT and a tax rate of 20%)

  • a skilled workforce currently supporting the finance industry with the necessary IT experience

  • the legislative framework to support e-commerce is being introduced in March 2001 with the enactment of the Electronic Transactions (Guernsey) Law 2000. 

  • the establishment of an intellectual property law.

The States of Guernsey is fully committed committed to encouraging IT businesses to the island. Full consultation is taking place with the business community to increase the IT culture. The E-Commerce Director Kevin Green believes that the changes to the law which are being introduced in March 2001 compare very favourably with other jurisdictions. 

On 29 March 2001 the States of Guernsey approved the a new model for the privatisation of Guernsey Telecoms. The licencing of the state owned company was proposed last year but no major Telecoms company made a serious approach. Now an equity partner with a controlling stake is being sought in order to expand the company and take it away from the limitations of public control. The States re-affirmed that the sale of a majority shareholding in GT is being done to attract a world class telecoms player, rather than a way to raise cash and Cable & Wireless were the successful bidder.

The Electricity Board's fibre optic links to France was transferred to a new States Trading Company, Guernsey Electricity.

In June 2001, a major Hotel group, The Mallard Hotel in association with ACT Now announced that they had taken major steps to become a leading player in e-commerce business accommodation. They invested £750,000 in 23 purpose built self-contained accommodation e-commerce and video conference suit888es for business people and trainers who require facilities over several days and up to two months. Internet connection via television and ISDN is provided.

Since the sale of Guernsey Telecoms, further competition has been introduced  into the telecoms market with both Wave Telecom and Airtel-Vodafone providing mobile telecommunications. C&W remain the only fixed line and broadband wholesale provider but broadband is available from other providers on a retail basis. In May 2010, home broadband speeds will increase from 2Mbs to 4Mbs, although still behind much of the UK and Europe. The telecoms industry is regulated by the Office of Utility Regulation (OUR) which also regulates the Sates owned Guernsey Post and Guernsey Electricity.

Guernsey hosts much of Alderney's online gaming servers and in April 2010 Wave celebrated the opening of its new world class hosting facilities at First Tower Lane, following it successful acquisition of Newtel in 2009.

Useful Contacts

E-commerce dept
Telephone: 44 (0)1481 234567
Fax: 44 (0) 1481 235015


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