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
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.