TRR releases UAP Stakeholders Update Report No.3

TRR is pleased to inform its stakeholders, through this Third Report, of the significant progress made since TRR’s Second UAP Update Report of 5 December, 2014. This Report also provides stakeholders and the public at large with awareness of TRR’s consultation and engagement with the telecom industry, consumers and communities, and other stakeholders in the implementation of the Government’s Universal Access Policy (UAP).

TRR gratefully acknowledges the commitment of industry in particular, Telecom Vanuatu Ltd, Digicel Vanuatu Ltd and Telsat Broadband Ltd (“the Players”) for the achievements detailed in this Report. There were significant milestones achieved over the last six months and they have placed TRR another step further towards meeting the Government’s UAP objectives.

The key outcome achieved since its Second Report is TRR’s effective and active negotiation and, now, formalizing of arrangements with the Players’ through signed Undertaking Agreements that establishes the Players’ commitment to build and roll out telecommunications services in accordance with the UAP to areas that have been identified by TRR as the UAP sites.

The rollout plans include building and extending networks to remote areas of Vanuatu, which will impact positively on and stimulate Government services and businesses; particularly in education, health, tourism and agriculture across the islands. They also include the upgrade of existing mobile services to 3G+ services, or equivalent technology, that can deliver internet broadband speeds specified under the UAP.

Importantly, TRR is pleased to inform stakeholders that the Government’s innovative UAP and leading approach has resulted in a successful rollout, based on the latest and current UAP deployment plans of the Players and TRR’s estimated existing mobile coverage, of a population coverage rollout that is now expected to reach, and may potentially exceed, the overall UAP target of 98%.

TRR has taken an active role in the process of the UAP implementation by developing a procurement plan which details the technical and administrative requirements for procurement of all relevant equipment, materials and services required to deliver the CLICC and TFS Programs. TRR took such considerations into account in awarding the provisioning and deployment, and support of equipment and materials contracts, to the recommended potential bidders.

In meeting the specific requirements of the three UAP school ICT programs, TRR has developed 12 separate tenders and selected the 12 winning bidders. On their successful selection, TRR proceeded to secure their commitment through a negotiated contractual agreement in light of their winning bid for the provision of goods and services, under the respective UAP programs.

The Ministry of Education, recognizing the significant beneficial impact of the UAP programs on schools and the learning capacity of children in the ‘unconnected environments’ and UAP targeted areas where access to power and internet is limited or unavailable, handed over 20 sets of Aptus Device to TRR. These devices can host large number of learning materials that can be accessed by multiple learners in places where no Internet is available.

TRR remains committed to its methodology and approach to achieving the UAP objectives by working cooperatively and constructively with the operators, stakeholders and all relevant parties.

TRR will continue to provide regular UAP Update Reports on UAP implementation. The next Update Report will follow the next scheduled report of the 7th of December 2015 to the Minister.

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