By: L.N. Reklai
September 28, 2017 (Koror, Palau) Palau is already connected to Guam via fiber optic cable, reported Robin Russell of Belau Submarine Cable Corporation at the Telecom Forum yesterday
“We are now connected to SEA-US cable all the way to Guam GTA. Most of the project risk is behind us and now we are just testing and training in anticipation of December 8. We will go live on December 8,” added Russell during his presentation at the Telecom Forum held yesterday at Bai ra Maiberel to review and discuss the proposed telecom bill currently before Olbiil Era Kelulau.
Palau Chamber of Commerce and Belau Tourism Association hosted a forum, bringing together industry experts and stakeholders in the telecom industry to look at the bill currently before the OEK to regulate and manage the telecom industry in Palau.
Presenters at the event include the Legal Counsel for the Office of President Austin Gaylord, Robin Russell of BSCC and His Excellency Ambassador Yamada of Japan.
Presenters addressed various issues addressed by the bill which include regulatory body or regulator, proposed moratorium for new telecom business license for two or five years after the law goes into effect, Universal Service Obligation (USO) policy, and shared network access.
The bill, according to Russell of BSCC, level the playing field for all telecom providers, remove preferred treatment to PNCC, create a shared network solution for all players where cost of infrastructure is shared by all and provide for a regulator to ensure fair process to all providers.
Ambassador Yamada emphasized the need to have the expertise that can address the details that would be part of the implementation process such as in frequency management.
Russell expressed that there were certain portions of the bill that can be further improved but the bottom line is to ensure best services to customers, competitive prices and even playing field.
Information released from the Office of the President lauded the timeliness of the meeting saying that it is time for all informed Palauans to contribute their knowledge for the good of a healthy telecommunication industry. The Office of the President stated that more expert presentations should be made for greater public discussions on the matter. [/restrict]