MPAI RFC on “Draft Policy on the Universality of telecommunications service provision in Trinidad and Tobago”

The Ministry of Public Administration and Information (MPAI) is inviting comments from interested parties for a second round of consultation on the draft policy on the Universality of Telecommunications Service provision in Trinidad and Tobago. A discussion of the decisions made subsequent to the comments and recommendations received is also available. The public is invited to submit comments to further aid the development of a methodology for ubiquitous access to telecommunications services by August 31st, 2007.

Excerpts from the Draft Policy :

The aim of this policy is to promote universal access to telecommunications services for all persons in Trinidad and Tobago by facilitating the orderly, systematic, dispersed development and provision of telecommunications services at affordable rates in Trinidad and Tobago in a manner that facilitates access by all citizens while encouraging innovation and incentive for investment in the ICT sector.

The major objectives of facilitating access to telecommunications and wider Information and Communication Technologies to all communities and thus all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago are:

  • to encourage full participation in Twenty-first Century society by members of Trinidad and Tobago’s society;
  • to promote political, economic and cultural cohesion;
  • to bridge the digital divide in the country;
  • to encourage a more balanced distribution of access to digital technology among all citizens of Trinidad and Tobago
  • to promote economic development; and
  • to enhance the competitiveness of Trinidad and Tobago

Under the summary of Policy Prescriptions, which is interesting given the recent TSTT/TATT spat over TSTT proposed introduction of a Single Rate for fixed lines :

4. The [Telecommunications] Authority [of Trinidad and Tobago] shall determine the public telecommunications services to which universality shall apply to provide the requisite benefits to society. Such services shall include at a minimum:

  • affordable Domestic call origination and termination;
  • affordable narrowband public data services of throughput no less than fifty six kilo bits per second (56 kbps);
  • access to international call origination and termination services; and
  • free 24-hour access to emergency call service

Such determinations shall be subject to periodic review as defined by the Authority.

8.2 Affordability

5. The Authority shall ensure price for basic telecommunications access must be so structured as to meet recognised affordability criteria, individually or cumulatively.

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