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  • Programmes > Rural Communication Project (RCP)

Rural Communication Project (RCP)

Overall Implementation Status for 2013:

  • The objective of Rural Communication Project is to expand access to telecommunications infrastructure and services in unserved rural and remotes areas of Papua New Guinea. This is consistent with the overarching goal of MTDS 2011-2015 and Long Term Development Plan 2010 - 2030 to have communication service coverage and internet throughout PNG by 2030.
  • The Rural Communication Project is a joint initiative of Papua New Guinea Government and the World Bank to pilot the Universal Access Service Scheme and it is funded through the World Bank US$15 million loan. A Financing Agreement was signed between the State and World Bank on August 09, 2010, followed by the executing of Subsidiary Agreement on December 15, 2013 and the project was declared effective on the 9th March 2011 by the World Bank.
  • The project consists of the following components. First, is to build capacity of the Regulator, the National Information and Communication Technology Authority (NICTA) to manage the Universal Access Service (UAS) Scheme over the medium-term. Second, is to finance a set of Universal Access Scheme (UAS) Demonstration Projects of voice telephony and internet centres at selected districts. Third is to support the policymaking and technical capacity of the Department of Communications and Information as the policy advisory arm of the government on ICT.
  • On first component, Universal Access Scheme (UAS) Secretariat was set up under NICTA and is now taking charge of all activities of the UAS. The UAS Board, which will decide on UAS funds and projects, is pending appointment of a Private Member. As at December 31, 2013, a Statutory Business Paper was submitted to NEC for appointment of a Private Member.
  • On second component, the first part of the demonstration project of expanding Voice Telephony to unserved rural and remote areas of PNG was advertised and processed. As at December 31, 2013, an Evaluation Report containing recommendation of a 'winning bidder' was submitted to Central Supply and Tenders Board (CSTB) for deliberation. This is expected to be finalized and the contract awarded to winning supplier in first quarter of 2014. The second part of the project on roll out of the internet centres at selected districts is pending advertising given that the project has been restructured in December 2013 between World Bank and the Government of PNG to allow sufficient time for the loan draw down.
  • The final component on capacity building for Department of Communication and Information was undertaken through engagement of a Policy Specialist for three (3) months who assessed and produced a Main Report on capacity for the Department. The Report will now be implemented in 2014 again with the funding allocation from the loan.