HISTORY OF TELECOMMS ON THE ISLE OF MAN

Set in the Irish Sea, the Isle of Man measures just 33 miles by 13, and has the world’s oldest continuous parliament, Tynwald. Her Majesty the Queen as Lord of Mann is Head of State. Her personal representative on the island is His Excellency the Lieutenant Governor, who is appointed by the Crown for a five-year term. The island is a Crown Dependency that, through its ancient parliament enjoys a high degree of domestic legislative and political autonomy. The U.K. Government is, by convention, responsible for the conduct of the external relations and defence of the island.

Unlike Guernsey and Jersey, the Isle of Man operations remained a part of the Post Office when it was created from the GPO in October 1969. Postal services were controlled by the Head Postmaster Douglas whilst telephone services were controlled by the Telephone Manager, Liverpool.

In July 1973, control of postal services passed to the Isle of Man Postal Office Authority, a self-financing Statutory Board of the Isle of Man Government. The IoMPOA has retained much closer links with the British Post Office than either Jersey or Guernsey and retains the red livery and double-line lettering.

Turning to Manx Telecom Limited, this remained part of the Post Office until 1981 when it became part of British Telecommunications. After flotation of British Telecom, Manx Telecom was established as a wholly owned subsidiary of BT in 1987. It is an Isle of Man registered company and was probably established to benefit from the island’s taxation policy. There has been a rapid development of the island’s communication services with digital exchanges and the provision of a new digital mobile network, using the GSM world standard. The island is served by both microwave radio and fibre optic submarine cable links to the UK. Situation as at December 2000.

[Material extracted from an article on the adminstrations' road vehicles by Christopher Hogan in Post Horn, the magazine of the Post Office Vehicle Club.]


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