Consultation Workshop on Telecoms Universal Service Strategy Highlights Need for Telecom User Input
Post and Telecommunications Department (PTD), with the assistance of the international consulting firm, Intelecon, is developing a Universal Service Strategy (USS), framework for Universal Service Funding mechanism and pilot projects.
In its sector-wide impact assessment of ICT, published in September 2015, MCRB highlighted the importance of developing a USS to ensure that everyone in Myanmar could enjoy the positive human rights impacts of telecoms connectivity. MCRB called for this strategy to be consulted on widely, including with groups such as women, people with disabilities, and populations in remote areas.
Following up on a consultative workshop held in Yangon in November, and rural field trips conducted by the team, Intelecon has completed their analysis of the current status of universal service for communication services, and is now preparing a draft strategy and design of pilot projects.
A second consultative workshop was held in Yangon on 16th February 2017, with support from MCRB, to seek opinions on the draft Universal Service Strategy. Intelecon presented the draft Universal Service Strategy, Universal Service Fund, Design and Implementation of Pilot Projects. The presentations and a ‘primer’ on what a Univeral Service Strategy is, in English and Burmese, are available for download.
Discussions highlight the need for more civil society organisations, including those representing disadvantaged groups with less access to telecoms, to get involved, and for the profile of universal service to be raised.
Intelecon will submit the draft Universal Service Strategy, Draft Guide for establishing Universal Service Fund (USF), Draft Operation Manual for USF to the government in April. It is intended that a further public consultation will be held in May before the draft documents are finalized in June.