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Formerly administered as part of the British Crown Colony of Mauritius, the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) was established as an overseas territory of the UK in 1965. A number of the islands of the territory were later transferred to the Seychelles when it attained independence in 1976. Subsequently, BIOT has consisted only of the six main island groups comprising the Chagos Archipelago. The largest and most southerly of the islands, Diego Garcia, contains a joint UK-US naval support facility. All of the remaining islands are uninhabited. Between 1967 and 1973, former agricultural workers, earlier residents in the islands, were relocated primarily to Mauritius, but also to the Seychelles. Negotiations between 1971 and 1982 resulted in the establishment of a trust fund by the British Government as compensation for the displaced islanders, known as Chagossians. Beginning in 1998, the islanders pursued a series of lawsuits against the British Government seeking further compensation and the right to return to the territory. In 2006 and 2007, British court rulings invalidated the immigration policies contained in the 2004 BIOT Constitution Order that had excluded the islanders from the archipelago, but upheld the special military status of Diego Garcia. In 2008, the House of Lords, as the final court of appeal in the UK, ruled in favor of the British Government by overturning the lower court rulings and finding no right of return for the Chagossians.


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Communications

Telephones - main lines in use
NA

Telephone system
General assessment
Separate facilities for military and public needs are available
Domestic
All commercial telephone services are available, including connection to the Internet
International
Country code (Diego Garcia) - 246; international telephone service is carried by satellite (2000)

Broadcast media
Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS) broadcasts over 3 separate frequencies for US and UK military personnel stationed on the islands (2009)

Internet country code
.io

Internet hosts World Ranking: 94
54,452 (2010)


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  British Indian Ocean Territory [ United Kingdom ] (Overseas Territory):


  GPS points from British Indian Ocean Territory [ United Kingdom ] (Overseas Territory)

Middle Island British Indian Ocean Territory (general)

Grande Ile Coquillage British Indian Ocean Territory (general)

Ile Longue British Indian Ocean Territory (general)

East Islet British Indian Ocean Territory (general)

Ile Sudest British Indian Ocean Territory (general)

Grande Soeur British Indian Ocean Territory (general)

Ile Du Coin British Indian Ocean Territory (general)

Ile Sipaille British Indian Ocean Territory (general)




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