• - TICT Provision Internet and related services to the public via Community Access Points (CAPs) in designated geographic locations in the Commonwealth of Dominica
    • - Universal Service Project to provide Broadband Internet Services to the public in designated geographic locations in the Commonwealth of Dominica
    • - Telecommunications and ICT Development Project - Supply of Equipment and Assistive Software for Dominica Association for People living with Disabilities
    • - Telecommunications and ICT Development Project - Supply of Equipment for Resource and Youth Skills Training Centres in Dominica
      •  

        National Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (NTRC)

        NTRC/ USF (Universal Service Fund) Ensures Access to Affordable Telecommunications throughout Underserved Communities in St Lucia

        The Universal Service Fund (USF) regulations was established in 2008 under the Telecommunications Act (2000). The National Telecommunication Regulatory Commission, (NTRC) has been tasked with its management, while its source of funding is the Telecommunications Providers as specified by the Act.   

        The Fund supports the expansion of telecommunications services particularly to the underserved who currently do not have sufficient access. The aimof the Fund is to provide telecommunications services which is readily accessible and affordable.

        The Fund essentially has been used by the Commission to compensate Telecommunications Providers who are required to provide or promote Universal Service. In doing so, the Fund shall be used to, 1. Encourage efficient access to and use of telecommunications networks and services. 2. Ensure reasonable availability and affordability of basic and advanced telecommunications.3. Provide support for the introduction and expansion of telecommunications services to schools, health facilities, similar institutions, the disabled and physically challenged.     

        The Universal Service Fund currently commissioned the following projects of which improved broadband connectivity, community Wi-Fi and computer equipment have been provided;

        1. Soufriere community Access centre and environs
        2. Babonneau library and environs
        3. Ciceron Secondary School and environs
        4. The libraries and Community Access centres throughout St. Lucia
        5. Digicel Payphones which involved increasing of the existing fleet of payphones by fifteen (15) in communities considered to be underserved throughout the island.
        6. The project to provide improved access to the differently abled (Blind Welfare, Dunnator, Vieux Fort and Soufriere Special education Centres and the Lady Gordon Opportunity Centre)
        7. Sir Arthur Lewis Community College – Southern Campus
        8. Improvement to the Holy Family Children’s Home internet access.

         

        Project approved in principle and will soon commence:

        • The Edu Connect and GI Net project including all Secondary Schools
        • Proof of sustainability beyond the Fund support.
        • Affordable access to basic telephone service
        • Access to internet service and broadband connectivity
        • Universal access via community assess points
        • Affordable access to individuals with special needs

        Other initiatives of the NTRC/USFO

        The NTRC/USF  supports initiatives geared towards improved internet and communication accessibility most recently we participated in an International Telecommunication Union (ITU), ‘Girls in ICT Day’ celebrated this year on April 28th 2016.The aim of this venture was to recognize girls and young women involved in ICT worldwide, noting their hindrances, while providing support by informing and encouraging them to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICT). The USFO activity took the form of a panel discussion featuring the Upton Garden Girls Centre and the Centre for Adolescent Renewal and Education, (C.A.R.E) mainly because of their similarity in programmes for girls.  The Upton Garden for instance engages in rehabilitation programmes such as, counselling, life and social skills training, character education and empowerment training, continued education, computer literacy skills and career guidance. Other neighboring schools participating were Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary, St. Joseph’s Convent, Entrepot Secondary and Bocage Government Combined.

        The event presenters were from the IT Department of Ministry of Education, Mrs. Natalie Bodley-JnBaptiste, IT Technician and Ministry of Infrastructure, Ms. Cheryl McClauren, IT Manager, Ministry of Education both presented on the topic of - Opportunities and Careers in ICT and Officers Antione and Celise of the St. Lucia Royal Police Force who presented on- Internet safety and security. The girls got the opportunity to engage in fruitful discussions with the presenters. They also got giveaways and enjoyed the rest of the day with food and drinks.

        Way Forward

        To fulfill the goal of the USF, the NTRC shall identify and define specific projects, for which the Fund may provide financial support. Project proposals are welcomed from individuals representing established groupings and institutions. The following criteria must be met;

        The NTRC/USF urges patrons to take full advantage of the improved facilities island wide with due care, while ensuring sustainability for future use.

        For more information, please contact Ms. Sandra Jones, Universal Service Fund Administrator at 758-458-2035/0585 or at sjones@ectel.int.

NTRC Dominica All rights reserved.