Island life gets you in the fast lane


Island life gets you in the fast lane

John Riley


Ship your secure financial transaction systems over to the Isle of Man if you want to ensure that the Government doesn't snoop on your customers. The same goes if you are an Internet service provider.

The island with the oldest parliament in the world has rejected the dog's breakfast of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act, bulldozed so cavalierly through the UK parliament by home secretary Jack Straw last autumn.

By contrast, the Manx government sensibly shopped around for the best regulatory environment it could find, coming up with liberal legislation based on Australian e-business law.

We have repeatedly warned the Government how easy it is to switch IT operations quickly to take advantage of off-shore benefits, such as light jurisdiction. Now is the time to go. With 1.2 terabits per second external links, the Manx technological climate is right too. The Isle of Man is on track to pip Japan to become the first place in the world to implement a third generation UMTS mobile service this April.

The Internet revolution has been manna to many island communities, such as the much vaunted Singapore, or even the remote Pacific island of Tuvalu which sold its Web country suffix ".tv" for $60m.

The Isle of Man is much closer to home and, unlike in martinet Singapore, you won't face arrest for spitting in the street.

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This was first published in January 2001


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