Vanuatu’s Telecommunications Radiocommunications and Broadcasting Regulator (TRBR) has confirmed that Digicel Vanuatu, Vodafone Vanuatu and WanTok Network will participate in the second stage rollout of its Universal Access Policy (UAP).
TeleGeography reports that the UAP’s ‘Play or Pay’ funding structure will see the firms deliver services to underserved or unconnected areas at their own expense. Operators are incentivized to participate in the policy by receiving waivers for levies, import duties and 700MHz spectrum licence fees.
Operator networks deployed under the UAP must be consistent with agreed technical specifications and standards, and must demonstrably connect to villages in regions selected by the TRBR due to their low network coverage.
The UAP is aimed at delivering voice and narrowband data access to 98% of Vanuatu’s population, ensuring that customers are able to use text messages, 3G wireless internet, and broadband services with minimum 1Mbps download speeds.
Additionally, the policy’s secondary goal is to connect government buildings and schools to broadband services that are of equivalent price to the services available in Vanuatu’s two largest cities, Port Vila and Luganville.