The Girls in ICT initiative of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is a global effort to raise awareness on empowering and encouraging girls and young women to consider studies and careers in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). The initiative is committed to celebrate and commemorate the International Girls in ICT Day on the fourth Thursday of every April as established by the ITU membership.
The 2016 Girls in ICT Day celebrations in Vanuatu was coordinated by Women and Girls in ICT Association is a Charitable Association based in Vanuatu.
The event is celebrated for the first time in Vanuatu this year 2016 and it was celebrated at two locations, one at Eles School in Nguna island and one in Port Vila.
The Eles school celebration was coordinated by Shannon Tomlinson a Peace Corp volunteer. Eles is located in a remote village at a Computer Lab and Internet Community Center (CLICC) that was installed under the Universal Access Policy managed by the Telecommunications Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR)’s office. 18 mothers and 5 year 8 girls participated in the basic training to create email and Facebook accounts.
Eles participants watching the video speech by Dalsie Baniala, Telecommunications and Radiocommunications Regulator 28 April 2016
They were addressed by Ms. Dalsie Baniala the Telecommunications Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR) through a pre-recorded video message that was downloaded from YouTube - Click to view the video message Vanuatu, joining the rest of the world celebrating Women and Girls in ICT
Mothers and girls learn to use email and facebook for the first time at Eles School lab
The event started at 9.30am at the SHEFA Education conference room in Port Vila. It was attended by the following women leaders of Vanuatu;
- Dalsie Baniala – Telecommunications Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR)
- Dorosday Kenneth Watson – Director of Women’s Affairs
- Leimara Malachi – Deputy Lady Mayor of Port Vila
- Soletia Christie - Deputy Country Director of Peace corps
- Two Port Vila market vendor Presidents
- Representative of the Vanuatu Women’s Center.
The Key Note address was delivered by the Vanuatu Telecommunications Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR) Dalsie Baniala that focused on the need for empowering women and girls with ICT tools. The Director of Womens Affairs Department Mrs. Dorosday Kenneth Watson also delivered a speech encouraging women to positively use ICT to promote their daily living including their business operations.
Mr. Joseph Tamata owner of a local Computer Network Services also delivered a short speech encouraging women to make use of technology in a positive way. At the end of his speech, he offered to develop and host the Women and Girls in ICT website for free. Before morning tea break, the Deputy Lady Mayor officially launched the Women and Girls in ICT constitution and those who were present signed the constitution as first members of the Association.
Mothers and girls interacting to learn
Doreen Lango who is Chairperson of the Women and Girls in ICT day event, later presented the vision of Women and Girls in ICT followed by the Smart Sistas ICT Girls Camp presentation by Rodney Philemon of Peace Corps.
The SMART Sistas ICT Girls Camp Committee is a strong collaboration between US Peace Corps Volunteers, US Peace Corps Staff, ICT Association Professionals (VITUS), the Vanuatu Government and other partners in the ICT industry. The committee began preparations in November 2014 and they hope to expand the program in future years. The 10 girls who were selected from over 60 applicants for the Smart Sistas ICT camp in May joined the sessions with their guardians at 11am and their names were announced for the first time. The Telecommunications and Radiocommunications Regulator also addressed the 10 girls and congratulate them they were fortunate to have been selected from the many applicants and encouraged them to take this opportunity seriously and that in the next 15 years they will be experts in their specific areas of interest in the development of ICT programs.
The ten girls selected to participate in the SMART Sistas Girls ICT Camp
The training session started with a brief introduction then a hands-on training creating email addresses and personal websites. There was a mixture of young girls and women who interacted to learn how to create their own email address and websites. Some managed to complete the creation of their websites. It is anticipated that a follow-up training for the same group will take place in the next three months. The participants were overwhelmed by the training and wished there was more time.
The outcome of the celebrations is as follows;
- Over 100 people attended the celebrations and learned for the first time how to create their email accounts and personal websites.
- 10 Girls aged between 9 and 14 were selection out of over 60 applicants to attend a one week basic training on different programming languages as part of the Pacific ICT Days Celebrations.
- 30 women and over 20 young girls attended the one day training and were able to created their own email addresses and personal websites and start to use them immediately.
- A quarterly program was established for a follow up training.
- A free offer for creation and host of the women and Girls in ICT by the local owner for Computer Network services.
The number of internet subscribers in Vanuatu continued to grow in 2015 following the installation of the ICN1 submarine cable in 2014 and service providers’ efforts to make available this service to users. The heavy competition between internet service providers (ISPs) was stimulated by operators introducing new, cheaper offers particularly with new and improved unlimited download plans as well as increasing internet speeds. Customers in Vanuatu can connect to the internet through a broad and increasing range of technologies and transmission methods as ISPs adopt and adapt technologies to suit the unique requirements of our market.
There has been significant growth in the number of users accessing the internet via mobile data, with both mobile operators now offering a range of 3G enabled smartphones for under 5000vt and the number of people, particularly young people, who now have the tools to access the internet; hence this service has grown considerably in recent years. Since the submarine cable landed in 2014 mobile operators have had access to greater amounts of internet bandwidth at lower cost than the previous satellite connections, and this has led to much more competitive and affordable data bundles being available to consumers. The price per MB of data allowance dropped considerably in 2015 with weekly bundles being available at an average rate of 15vt/MB in November 2014 to as little as 1vt/MB in 2015 or 2vt/MB with Facebook included free as part of the bundle.
Click the link below for mores 2015 Statistics.
In this paper the Telecommunications Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR) of Vanuatu (TRR) is seeking comment on its proposals to introduce a Spectrum Fee Schedule which would result in spectrum fees being levied on identified spectrum bands that are in high demand.
This public consultation addresses the methodology for the setting of radio frequency spectrum licence fees, and proposes a fee formula and schedule of fees to apply to spectrum fees.
Spectrum fees will be aimed at encouraging spectrum to be used efficiently in Vanuatu, where that spectrum is likely to be in high demand. In considering the level of proposed spectrum fees, TRBR has gathered relevant information about prices for spectrum use in other countries including those in the region, as well as information from countries that have used spectrum auction and applied fees approaches.
TRBR has looked at the range of uses of spectrum in Vanuatu to decide which bands should be subject to the spectrum fees. It has concluded that the spectrum fees should be limited to the following bands:
• Bands used for mobile telecommunications (900 MHz, 1800 MHz)
• Other wireless broadband spectrum (2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz, 3.5 GHz)
• Broadcasting spectrum used for pay TV (510-550 MHz, 560-608MHz, 610-660 MHz)
• 700 MHz band following allocation (703-748 MHz, 758-803 MHz).
The deadline for public Comments is 4:30pm, 18 March 2016; Please note that TRBR’s
consultation timeframe in accordance with TRBR’s Consultation Guidelines is normally 28
days. For this plan, TRBR considers a 6 week review period is necessary.