This site has been tirelessly advocating cheap and universal access. Moreover, this site operates with the view that the citizens of Fiji are being under-served by how the telecoms industry is currently structured. A restructuring of this sector is dramatically in order.

Fostering competition at the retail level should be of utmost priority. In order to accomplish this target, it must be realized that clear and transparent pricing are required at all levels, including wholesale.

To increase the broadband penetration rate in Fiji, broadband must be clearly meant to mean both wireline and wireless access. Presently, infrastructure exists in a very narrow corridor.

Investment in the adequate infrastructure to serve all of Fiji becomes a shared responsibility. Ownership and operation of the infrastructure must be firewalled from retail competition. Either industry consortium or the Govt. has to take lead with a plan to get an infrastructure in place that can serve our people.

The infrastructure must be open to allow for piggybacking of emergency services. It is time for a sensible outline of targets to establish where our infrastructure should be within a few years.

Along with that comes increasing the regulatory capacity of authorities:

CONSULTATIONS ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF A NATIONAL BROADBAND POLICY

14 July 2010, Holiday Inn Suva

The Government of Fiji wishes to develop a broadband policy adopting international best practice with, amongst other things, the following objectives:

I.  Promotion of broadband and penetration across geographic barriers in Fiji;

II.Identification of particular means to enhance access to Internet in rural areas hence bridge the digital divide;

III. Identification of barriers to broadband access both in urban and rural areas and the means to overcome these barriers with particular emphasis on:

a)      Service costs;

b)      Spectrum policy;

c)      Infrastructure sharing; and

d)     Universal Service Funds

IV.Broadband as a mean of enhancing social development;

V.  Promotion of long term interests of end users;

VI.Efficiency and international competitiveness;

VII. Rapid expansion of reliable and affordable broadband services on an equitable basis, with particular improvement in rural areas;

VIII. Promotion of efficient investment and innovation in broadband networks and services;

IX.Fair competition with all telecommunications service providers and allowing market forces to operate;

X.  Provision and promotion of appropriate consumer protection and other safeguards in relation to broadband services where market forces are insufficient; and,

XI.Provision and promotion of environmental sustainability.

Advertisements