This is the 14th report on the implementation update of the Government Universal Access Policy (UAP). It highlights the progress that has been made to date since the last report (13th UAP Report).
The implementation of the UAP continuous to progress well towards achieving its objectives. Both Digicel and Vodafone continues to remain committed as the major player of the UAP. To date, both Digicel and Vodafone, have served a total of 69 Underserved and Unserved areas. The 69 areas were periodically addressed based on the UAP Undertaking Agreements that TRBR had with them (Digicel and Vodafone), spanning over the period of 2016 to 2018 and 2021 to 2024. With the 69 areas, 48 of which have been successfully addressed with a Telecommunications Infrastructure and are currently actively serving the population. 21 of the areas are in progress and are expected to be completed by August 2024.
Furthermore, the UAP other program is significantly addressing coverage improvements in schools and communities, particularly in areas that were hard to reach with a mobile telecommunications tower. The UAP other program focuses on the deployment of VSAT equipment. We have recently conducted a Quality-of-Service (QoS) benchmarking and Coverage Audit in Tanna and Efate, and we are delighted to say that significant improvement has been made (page 9 of the report), compared to coverage status in 2019. The QoS and Coverage Audit will be extended to the other Islands to confirm coverage improvement in locations that were once underserved and unserved.
This Universal Access Policy (UAP) report is the thirteenth (13th ) Report, that provides an update on the implementation of the UAP to our stakeholders and the general public. This report highlights the progress activities that have been made in respect to the UAP implementation from July 2021 to date. COVID-19 pandemic has been a major obstacle in the implementation of the UAP, with the closure of the border, the shipment of tower infrastructure from the manufacturer to Vanuatu have been significantly delayed and the lock down on the community movement has also slowed the progress on site installations.
However, despite the set backs caused by COVID-19, TRBR has achieved a number of activities in progress towards achieving the UAP objectives, these includes; signing of the 3rd UAP Undertaking Agreement with the Telco Operators in July 2022 , following the 2nd Undertaking Agreement signed in June of 2021, with a total of 40 underserved and unserved areas committed to Vodafone, Digicel and Wantok. Additionally, with the UAP other programs on Community initiatives, a total of 23 Schools benefited from Satellite Broadband connectivity, with wifi equipment that extended the internet coverage to a range of 300 meters. The internet facility is supplemented with ICT equipment.
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This is the twelfth (12th) report since the initial implementation of the UAP, however it is the second report after the extension on the implementation period of the UAP from the 1st of January 2018 to the 1st of January 2022 under decision 291 of 2019. This Report highlights progresses that have been made in respect of the UAP implementation. The highlight in this report includes the finalisation of the UAP undertaking approach, the confirmed UAP underserved and unserved areas and the signing of the UAP undertaking commitment with the Operators.
Furthermore, the report highlights various projects undertaken in the UAP other programs, which are positively impacting on the extension of coverage in the rural remote areas of the country, reaching out to the locations where mobile networks are not available.
If you wish to obtain further details on the report, please do not hesitate to contact us.
This Universal Access Policy (UAP) Report provides an update to our stakeholders and the citizens of Vanuatu on the status of the implementation of Government’s UAP. This is the eleventh (11th) report since the initial implementation of the UAP, however, it is the first report after the extension on the implementation period of the UAP which is now extended to the 1st of January 2022. This report highlights the progress that has been made in respect of UAP implementation to date.
The initial implementation of the UAP came to an end on the 1st of January 2018. After this period, the Office of the Prime Minister (PMO), the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer (OGCIO) and the Office of the Telecommunications, Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR) continued to receive complains about mobile network coverage issues and quality of service issues. The Prime Minister, Hon. Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas who was the Minister responsible for Telecommunications and ICT then, requested that more efforts be put into addressing the continuous network coverage issues. On the 30th of October 2019, the Council of Ministers (COM) then approved the extension of the implementation period of the UAP to the 1st of January 2022 according to COM Decision 291 of 2019.
The Tenth Universal Access Policy (UAP) Update Report provides an update to our stakeholders and the citizens of Vanuatu on the status of implementation of the Government’s UAP. It builds on TRBR’s Ninth UAP Update Report of May 2018 and is the final report for the UAP project. This Report highlights the continued progress that has been made in respect of UAP implementation and, particularly, to successfully building on to the secured industry commitment and cooperation in meeting the UAP requirements and the key Government objectives, to bring benefit to the people of Vanuatu; in accord with the intention of the UAP, as well as the economy of Vanuatu.
The Telecommunications, Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR) continues to appreciate, recognise and acknowledge the commitment of the Players and industry at large for their achievements to date, and as presented in this Report. TRBR also recognises the valuable assistance, cooperation and support from the Australian Government through its Governance for Growth (GfG) Program which has significantly contributed, through financial support, to its success via the deployment of telecommunications and internet access into remote and underserved areas of Vanuatu; particularly in respect of the Computer Lab and Internet Community Centres (CLICC) programs.
TRBR has, importantly, taken a considerable proactive and guiding approach and lead role through the process of UAP implementation over the last few years; particularly in the negotiation, finalisation and signing of the UAP Player’s Undertakings outlining commitments to the implementation of the UAP through the upgrading and rollout of new services, and the provisioning and deployment of equipment and materials for the UAP Information Communications Technologies (ICT) school and internet community centre programs.
TRBR is pleased to reiterate that, based on the current UAP infrastructure deployed by the Players as well as TRBR’s modelling of mobile coverage, the population coverage rollout has met the UAP obligation target of 98% with industry bearing the full burden and with no Government financial input. TRBR is also pleased to advise that the UAP obligation in regard to the upgrade of 2G services to 3G services has also been substantially completed with over 97% of sites upgraded. Finally, the TRBR is also pleased to advise that the UAP obligation of all government schools, health clinics and other institutions be covered by high speed broadband has also been achieved.
- Quality of Service