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.