• 24 Aug 2014
    ICT4S 2014 24 Aug 2014 to 26 Aug 2014 12:00 AM to 11:59 PM

Background

In March 2006, the Pacific ICT Ministerial Forum held in Wellington, New Zealand, recognized the importance of pooling scarce resources in the regulation of telecommunications services, and directed officials to approach World Bank (the “Bank”) and other development partners with a view to the provision of regulatory and policy capacity development.

In 2008, the Bank commissioned a study of the options for the establishment of a regional-level telecommunications and ICT resource centre or technical advisory facility to assist telecommunications and ICT policymakers and regulators in the Pacific. The Options Report was completed in December 2008 and recommended the establishment of a Pacific Regional Regulatory Resource Centre to provide an efficient and independent source of advice and information to telecommunications and ICT regulators and policymakers and to strengthen the capacity of regulators and policymakers

These recommendations were presented to the Pacific ICT Ministerial Forum held in Tonga in February 2009. The Ministerial Communiqué endorsed the recommendation and directed officials to work towards establishing a shared regulatory resource centre for the Forum Island countries.

The Bank subsequently agreed to administer seed funding for the establishment of the Centre provided by the Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility, a multi-partner infrastructure coordination and financing mechanism.

The meeting of Pacific Regional Information & Communication Technology Ministers held on 18 June 2010 in Nuku’alofa, Tonga, endorsed the establishment of the Pacific ICT Regulatory Resource Centre (“PIRRC”) to be located at the Japan-Pacific ICT Centre of University of the South Pacific (“USP”), and the establishment of the Centre Working Group (“WG”). Ministers directed that the Working Group progress the governance framework of the Centre and report back to countries.

The meeting of Pacific Regional ICT Ministers held on 4-8 April 2011 in Noumea, New Caledonia, endorsed proposals concerning membership and governance of the PIRRC. With this endorsement, the focus has shifted to the commencement of PIRRC operations.

Objectives

PIRRC will encourage sharing of information and industry data, and provide direct assistance to ICT policymakers and regulators throughout the Pacific. PIRRC is being established as a collaborative effort among national regulators, policymakers, regional institutions, including SPC, the University of the South Pacific (the “USP”), and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (the “PIFS”), and other development partners.

Membership

Forum island member countries are eligible to become Centre members and non-Forum island member countries/territories may apply for membership. The membership entitles countries/territories to governance rights and to receive services from the Centre. An annual membership fee is payable by each member country or territory

Governance & Location

PIRRC is governed by a Steering Committee consisting of 6 country and 1 USP representatives. The Steering Committee will approve the PIRRC annual business and financial plans and appoint a Management Committee to oversee operational matters. The Steering Committee consists of representatives from Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa, Cook Islands and Australia. A USP representative is to be appointed

PIRRC is hosted by USP at Level 4 of its Japan-Pacific ICT Centre, in Suva, Fiji as an autonomous operating unit of USP

Mandate of PIRRC

The mandate of the PRRRC is:

  • To collate key industry statistics and issue periodic reports on the state of telecommunications competition in Pacific island countries and the performance of the industry in regard to prices, service quality and innovation;
  • To develop information packages on priority regulatory topics including those where technical skills may be required in analyzing industry trends, such as spectrum management, standardization or licensing of new services;
  • To provide advisory services in response to country requests and to identify additional sources of expertise, for instance within international organizations;
  • To issue best practice statements on telecommunications policies, laws, implementing rules and regulatory instruments and to conduct case studies;
  • To develop a roster of expertise and support quality control of expert advice; and
  • To act as a clearinghouse for formal face-to-face or online training programs, and to host such programs on a regional level.

Implementation status

LIRNEasia has been selected as consulting firm for the Project and the Centre Director (Mr. Aslam Hayat) has moved to Suva, Fiji to setup office of PIRRC. Other technical and administrative staff will be engaged as the PIRRC work program develops