Presentation on theme: "1 National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (Saint Lucia) Presentation to World Telecommunications and Information Society Day Conference Theme."— Presentation transcript:
1 National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (Saint Lucia) Presentation to World Telecommunications and Information Society Day Conference Theme Universal Service: Bridging the Rural-Urban Divide Ministry of Communications, Works, Transport & Public Utilities Conference Room Union May 17, 2011
2 TITLE Universal Service: Bringing Telecommunications / ICT Services to the Rural and Underserved Areas. Presentation by Alvin Augustin Universal Service Fund Administrator National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Rajana Group of Companies Building Bois DOrange Website: Tel Fax
3 Introduction to Universal Service/Access Legal Framework establishing Universal Service/Access Challenges to Bridging the Digital Divide Overview of Global ICT Development Overview of National ICT Development General Observations Approaches to Bridging the Digital Divide Questions and Answers Alvin Augustin Universal Service Fund Administrator NTRC-Saint Lucia STRUCTURE OF PRESENTATION
4 The term Universal Access (UA) is used in a wide variety of contexts to describe or demonstrate objectives and policies that governments implement to ensure that all their citizens have access to the benefits of modern economic life. Universal Service (US) is a term widely used in regulated industries, referring to the practice of providing a baseline level of services to every resident of a country. Origins The concept of US has its origins in the British postal service; In reference to telecommunications, the term US was first established as policy under the Telecommunication Act of the USA (1934). Definitions In the context of telecom./ICT, UA is when everyone can access telecoms. & ICT services somewhere, at a public place. In the context of telecom./ICT, US describes when everyone or household can have telecoms. & Information Communications Technology (ICT) services available either personally or at home. Importance Importance and value of Telecommunications and ICT to the socio-economic development of a country is critical. Telecom. & ICT play a vital role in diverse activities as finance, governance, education, health care, tourism, etc and are pillars of building a modern society. Introduction
5 Telecom. & ICTs have contributed to the transformation of economies in places like India, Singapore, Seychelles, etc. and if implemented correctly may impact the socio- economic development of Saint Lucia positively. Telecom & ICTs are instrumental to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, as they provide a vehicle to inform and education the most vulnerable in our society. In the rural context, Telecom & ICTs combine will enhance opportunities to generate income and combat social ills i.e. poverty, illiteracy, etc. Globally latest figures indicate that as many as 70% of the developing worlds population extremely poor people live in rural areas. They are also among the least connected to the benefits of ICTs. One of the Goals of UA and US is to ensure that no one is left behind in this digital age by focusing on three core areas or the 3 As: 1. Availability:the service is available to inhabited parts of the country through public, community, shared or personal devices; 2. Accessibility:all citizens can use the service, regardless of location, gender, disabilities and other personal characteristics; 3. Affordability:the service is affordable to all citizens. Alvin Augustin Universal Service Fund Administrator NTRC-Saint Lucia
6 Universal Service includes the provision of- (a) public voice telephony; (b) internet access; (c) telecommunications services to schools, hospitals and similar institutions, and the disabled and physically challenged; or (d) other service by which people access efficient, affordable and modern telecommunications. -Telecommunications Act [No. 27 0f 2000] Universal Service Fund means the Fund established for the promotion of universal service by Section 44 of this Act; - Telecommunications Act [No. 27 0f 2000] Alvin Augustin Universal Service Fund Administrator NTRC-Saint Lucia
7 Defining Rural (Underserved) Areas General features of rural and underserved areas may be summarized as follows: Lack of basic infrastructure including telecom. electricity, road access, pipe borne water, sewer systems, etc.; Low geographical population density (small village population in sparsely polluted communities); Low economic activities, low per capita income, lack of disposable income, general poverty; Lack of social and administrative facilities including public service institutions, health care centres, schools, libraries, etc; Difficult geographical features e.g. mountainous regions, isolated by water, harsh environment, etc; Higher degree of illiteracy than rest of population; Alvin Augustin Universal Service Fund Administrator NTRC-Saint Lucia
8 Legal framework establishing Universal Service and facilitating provision for the management of the Universal Service Fund includes: ECTEL Treaty; Telecommunications Act [No. 27 0f 2000]; Telecommunications (Universal Service Fund) Regulations [S.I. No. 120 of 2008]; Telecommunications (Universal Service Fund Contribution) Order [No. 45 of 2009]; Telecommunications Universal Service Fund Guidelines [July 2008]. Legal Framework Accessible at
9 ECTEL Treaty The ECTEL Treaty establishes the legal framework for Member States to make provisions for Universal Service and manage the Fund to provide for Universal Service. The Treaty also specifies ECTELs role and functions when it comes to Universal Service and assisting the Member States in management of the Fund.The relevant Articles are Articles 4, 5 and 12 of the ECTEL Treaty. Telecommunications Act [No. 27 0f 2000] The Telecommunications Act establishes the NTRC and gives the NTRC the legal obligation to manage the Universal Service Fund (USF). It allows makes provision for the Minister to include US as a condition in the the telecom. licence of telecom. providers in a transparent, non-discriminatory manner. Alvin Augustin Universal Service Fund Administrator NTRC-Saint Lucia
10 Telecommunications (Universal Service Fund) Regulations [S.I. No. 120 of 2008]: The Universal Service Fund Regs. establishes the guidelines by which the NTRC is to manage the USF. It also establishes the nature of the contributions to the USF. The USF Regs. also mandates the NTRC to i.Encourage efficient access to and use of telecom. networks & services in rural areas, under-served and maritime areas with goal to foster social, economic and educational development; ii.Ensure reasonable availability and affordability of basic & advanced telecom. services including voice telephony, internet access/broadband access particularly where it may not be economically viable as well as provide such services to physically challenged, elderly and indigent communities; iii. Support the introduction and expansion of telecom. services to schools, health facilities and other organizations serving the public needs; iv. Promote technological innovation; Alvin Augustin Universal Service Fund Administrator NTRC-Saint Lucia
11 Telecommunications (Universal Service Fund Contribution) Order [No. 45 of 2009]; Telecommunications Universal Service Fund Guidelines [July 2008]. Alvin Augustin Universal Service Fund Administrator NTRC-Saint Lucia
12 Challenges to Bridging the Digital Divide Rural communities generally have small, sparsely populated markets, which under normal circumstances are not economically feasible for deployment of telecom. & ICT services; The income level of person living in rural areas are generally below the national mean, implying that disposable income are only for the essentials; Rural communities due to the remoteness and other geographical challenges pose some issues to the deployment of telecom and ICT-based networks.
13 Global ICT Development per telecom service ( ) Source: MONITORING THE WSIS TARGETS A mid-term review
14 Voice Telephony Source: 2010 Population and Housing Census Preliminary Report
15 Ownership of Computers by Districts Source: 2010 Population and Housing Census Preliminary Report
16 National Household with Access to Internet Source: 2010 Population and Housing Census Preliminary Report
17 Ownership of Computers Source: 2010 Population and Housing Census Preliminary Report
18 Method of Access to the Internet Source: 2010 Population and Housing Census Preliminary Report
19 General Observations Voice telephony is available island-wide approximately 85% of household have access to voice telephony. Small deviation exist between urban and rural households. Approximately 26.5% of household have internet connection. Noticeable deviation exist between urban and rural household. About 61% of national household do not own a computer. Noticeable disparity between urban and rural household. Approximately 59.7 % of individuals did not have access to the internet. Noticeable disparity between urban and rural areas.
20 Approaches to Bridging the Digital Divide USF alone cannot do it! Strategic national development policy is needed to close the digital divide that exists between rural and urban areas. Look to best practices! Learn the lessons from countries that have successfully implemented telecom and ICT development policies. Mobile technologies may prove the most adaptable technology to increase telecom & ICT penetration rates in rural areas. Community Access Points (Telecentres) may assist with adaption of ICT in rural communities. Terminal devices/computers for persons in the rural communities (and other sector of society) will have to be subsidized in the short to medium term.
21 QUESTIONS ?????? Alvin Augustin Universal Service Fund Administrator NTRC-Saint Lucia
22 THE END THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION AND PARTICIPATION. DO NOT HESITATE TO CONTACT OUR OFFICES IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS. Alvin Augustin Universal Service Fund Administrator National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission Rajana Group of Companies Building Bois DOrange Website: Tel /Fax