Tasvare Primary School in Merelava, Banks, and Martin Primary School in Hiu, both in TORBA Province, now have access to high speed internet, through technical and financial assistance provided by the Office of the Telecommunications, Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR), as part of the Computer Laboratory and Internet Community Centre (CLICC) Program.
It took a week for Jean Paul Malessy (TRBR Officer), Peter Meltetake (Telsat officer) and Mendra Televan (PCS officer) to assist in setting up the two sites to enable the teachers, students and the two local communities to connect to the world.
According to Mr Malessy, more than hundred (100) students from Tasvare primary school in Merelava and Martin primary school in Hiu can now have access to reliable Internet for the first time.
‘It is a safe and secure internet access model, that TRBR provides for these two primary schools, and that model could be replicated in other schools in the country’, Mr Malessy explained during the launching ceremony.
TRBR’s Universal Access and Service Coordinator, Hanson Waki stated that the realisation of this project was purposely to improve coverage and give opportunity to students and their teachers to have access to internet for their academic research programs, and these schools can now access the Vanuatu Educational Management Information System (VEMIS), and be able to feed information into the VEMIS database as required by the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET). Such benefit will also have a positive impact on the effectiveness and efficiency of decision making in relation to the school development.
She continued to explain that under Vanuatu’s Universal Access Policy (UAP), two projects were designed under the principle that schools can be hubs for community Internet access. These were the Computer Laboratory and Internet Community Centre (CLICC) and the Tablet for Schools (TFS) project. ‘The two computer labs in TORBA province were part of the CLICC project’ Mrs Waki confirmed. Nineteen (19) schools throughout Vanuatu have already benefited from the CLICC project, since it was launched in 2015.
1. Capturing the first ever call from Imo app, Hiu, Torres Islands
2. Teachers Training, Tasvare and Lequel Primary School, Merelava, Banks Islands
In accordance to the decision made by the Telecommunications, Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR) on the 10th of November 2017 and in pursuant to Order No.8 of 2017, TRBR approved a reduced price per Mbps per Month for the leased capacity through the submarine cable.
The TRBR intervention into this wholesale market of bandwidth is proven to have positive impact in the Vanuatu’s telecom sector boosting demand of bandwidth by the Mobile operators, Internet Service Providers and the Government. This high demand has stimulated growth in mobile data traffic and internet usage resulting into significant growth of mobile data and fixed internet subscribers.
Though these impacts are visible as well as experienced, TRBR has received on several occasions, complaints from retailers of internet capacity on the high pricing of internet capacity supplied to the local market. Retailers of internet capacity claimed that these prices which are applied locally are excessive when compared to other countries in the region such as Tonga and Fiji, and hampers the development of the telecommunications/ICT industry in Vanuatu. On the other hand, TRBR also received concerns from the wholesaler of internet capacity claiming that the elasticity in the demand was not reflected through the pricing applied by the retailers and though the end users enjoy more value with more data allocated to bundles, the price tags remain the same, not catering for all users.
TRBR has not made any final or binding decision on any aspect of these complaints but wishes to release this consultation to obtain comments and further information from all its stakeholders and general public as users prior to any decision by TRBR.
Predominantly, the TRBR Act No.30 of 2009 as amended by Amendment 22 of 2018 provides TRBR general powers and functions to monitor and regulate Telecommunications, Radiocommunications and Broadcasting in order to promotion national social and economic development.
With that, this consultation aims;
The Office of the Vanuatu Telecommunications, Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR) would like to announce the appointment of Neustar Vanuatu Limited (Neustar) as the new Registry Operator for the .vu country code Top-Level Domain (ccTLD).
The announcement follows a competitive tender process conducted by TRBR, to which Neustar submitted a comprehensive response outlining its technical, policy and marketing experience and capabilities. Neustar was selected from a group of respondents to the tender notice, which sought a Registry Operator to support TRBR in growing and promoting the .vu namespace.
The TRBR Regulator, Mr Brian Winji said the partnership with Neustar would enhance the profile, performance and security of the .vu ccTLD.
Neustar is a global information services company with the largest DNS, DDoS mitigation and threat intelligence capabilities in the industry. In addition to .vu, Neustar provides Registry services for .us, .co, .in, .nyc and .biz TLDs, as well as nearly 240 other TLDs for countries, cities, businesses and the world's leading brands. The .vu namespace is now backed by Neustar's award-winning infrastructure, team and experience, which is always evolving with continuous investment and product innovation.
Nicolai Bezsonoff, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Neustar Registry Solutions, said Neustar was excited to bring its expertise in technical innovation and DNS security to benefit all Vanuatu Internet users.
At its board meeting held on Friday 14th March, 2019, in Kobe, Japan, it was announced that the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will transfer the .vu top level domain name from Telecom Vanuatu Limited (TVL) to the Telecommunications Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR).
TVL decided their preference is to be a Registrar in the future, primarily so they may retain a direct relationship with their domain name customers.
TVL has been responsible for management of the .vu domain name for Vanuatu since its initial delegation on 10 April 1995. Under the "Vanuatu Domain Name Management and Administration Regulation Order No 206 of 2016” TRBR is required to manage.vu, and to attend to the process of splitting the Registry and Registrar functions of this domain name.
Under a Shared Registry System (SRS), a single Registry Operator for .vu will be appointed, and TVL and other Registrars who are approved by TRBR will be able to interact directly into the registry for their respective customers domains. This introduces competition at a local and global level for the domain names available within the Registry.
TRBR are also proceeding with negotiations with a preferred Registry Provider, after having gone through an open and competitive tender process. Nine tender responses were received from both within Vanuatu and from international providers, and after separate technical and financial evaluation panels completed their assessment of these bids, a preferred registry operator has been selected. TRBR are currently negotiating a contract with this operator, and an announcement will be made later this month if negotiations can be successfully settled.
These changes set the scope for a competitive market for .vu domain names. TRBR has created an environment where multiple Registrars can make their own unique offerings and pricing for .vu names. TRBR wants to encourage the establishment of local Registrars in Vanuatu, and believes the environment will encourage the other local Internet Service Providers and possibly web designers will consider becoming Registrars or Resellers of .vu names. A strong collaboration between TRBR and the new Registry Operator is expected to lead to growth of the number of .vu names through international Registrars and resellers across the Internet.
The Government of Vanuatu has set the stage for these changes to occur and TRBR acknowledges the hard work done to create this platform. TRBR has followed up the Regulation over the past two years and developed policies for .vu through consensus based development processes within the local Internet community. TRBR is grateful for the input from the industry stakeholders, various Government Departments, and the local Internet community, in coming together for multi-stakeholder dialogue and decisions, which culminate with this positive decision from ICANN.
TRBR wishes to thank Keith Davidson, from New Zealand for his guidance in achieving the important milestone on the transfer of the .vu domain name, and also in the process used in selecting the new Registry Operator. TRBR also extends its gratitude to InternetNZ, which operates the .nz Registry, and their .nz self-Regulator, the Domain Name Commissioner, for their high level of support to TRBR over many years.
ICANN is the global body that manages the Internet’s unique identifiers, including the Top Level Domains for countries and the generic names like .org or .com. ICANN will update the IANA database at the core of the Internet to reflect this transfer in the near future.