Reference Interconnection Offer
As a requirement under the TRBR Act, a RIO is an offer document setting out matters relating to the price, and terms and conditions, under which a carrier will permit the interconnection of another carrier to its network.
A RIO aims to provide and facilitate new entrants with sufficient information about a dominant carrier’s or another carrier’s network to assist it in its decision-making processes, and to provide a baseline for negotiating an interconnection agreement.
Background of TVL & Digicel RIO Development
The Government of Vanuatu issued TVL and Digicel with their respective Telecommunications Licences in March 2008. TVL and Digicel were required, under their licences, to produce a RIO within 90 days of the dates of their respective licences. Both operators relied on their interim interconnection agreement as their RIO. The interim agreement however expired in June 2012.
In 2012, TRBR nominated both TVL and Digicel as a Nominated Service Provider (NSP) and required each of them to produce a RIO, which TRBR later consulted on with the NSPs including Interchange Ltd as an interested party. The NSP was finalised and released at the end of 2013.
Telecommunications Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR) finalized and issued the NSP RIO for the telecommunications industry on 17 December 2013. It covers Offers which must be provided by a NSP for the provision of an interconnection service to any access seeker seeking interconnection with a NSP. The NSP RIO is intended to guide a NSP, and any other Service Providers seeking interconnection with a NSP, and facilitates the provision of interconnection services in Vanuatu.
Main Objectives of Establishing an NSP RIO
• To ensure the public good is managed fairly, equitably and transparently.
• To ensure appropriate policies are in place to guide and safeguard the welfare of the different parties operating services in Vanuatu.
• To ensure effective and speedy provision of Interconnection to new and existing Licensees.
• To ensure the effective maintenance of end-to-end services between Licensees in Vanuatu.
• To ensure there is no discrimination of interconnection services among licensees.
• To ensure the smooth introduction of access to the International Submarine Cable to Vanuatu.
Both TVL and Digicel were notified by TRBR as NSPs under section 27 (1) of the Act. In developing the NSP RIO, TRBR consulted NSP’s and interested parties prior determining the terms and conditions of the NSP RIO. TRBR consulted with Interchange Ltd (the submarine cable provider), as an interested party, to ensure that the NSP RIO covers relevant technical aspects of interconnection to that submarine cable.
TRBR released the final NSP RIO for the industry on 17 December 2013 and it is now applicable for the sector at large. TRBR will shortly nominate Interchange, as it is critical for the NSP RIO to capture this essential service and to ensure fair access to such a bottleneck infrastructure.
The NSP RIO is a living offer document and will be reviewed and modified as required as experience is gained on its application and industry evolution.
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