Palau National Communications Corporation (PNCC), the government-own telecommunications company sees a 20% drop in revenue specifically in those areas affected by tourism decline as result of the COVID-19.
“Revenue from sale of prepaid cards, airtime cards, and roaming services is down by 20%,” stated PNCC CEO Leo Ben Teriong. These are the services most used by visitors and tourism related services stated Teriong.
As far as data usage, Teriong said that it cannot be used to accurately measure the impact of tourism decline. PNCC currently holds 6GB of capacity. According to Teriong, usage is between a peak of 4.8GB to low of 4.5GB. This fluctuates based on what is going on in the community. New people are coming online and specific events would drive up the usage reported CEO Teriong.
Despite COVID-19 impact on many jobs and businesses people are continuing to pay their bills. “There are people who are struggling and we are working with them to make payment plans to pay their bills,” added CEO Teriong.
On related matter, Mr. Teriong revealed that PNCC did not renew its contract forsatellite services with O3B. “The contract ended this year and we decided not to renew it. We continued to maintain contract with two other satellite providers, Spark and Speedcast for back up services.” The minimum capacity required under the contract is 150MB, around 2% of current capacity. According to Teriong, the providers agree to increase the capacity should an event such as disruption of fiber optic service occur demanding it.
PNCC is one of the 3 main telecom providers in Palau today. The other two are privately owned telecom companies, the Palau Telecom and Palau Wifi.