In accordance with Section 28 (1) of the Telecommunications Act (2001) (‘the Act’), the Authority has been charged with the mandate of promoting Universality in Trinidad and Tobago to the extent that it is reasonably practicable.
The term Universality means achieving a combination of both universal access and universal service.
Universal access is achieved when 100% of the country’s population can access affordable basic telecommunications services either on an individual or shared (public access) basis. Examples of publicly accessing these basic services can be through community access centres, Internet kiosks and public payphones.
Universal service on the other hand builds on the concept of universal access. This is achieved when basic telecommunications services are both accessible and affordable and are delivered on either a household basis or an individual basis. Therefore universal service speaks to 100% of the population being able to subscribe and use these basic services on a household or individual basis.
In order to fulfill the objectives of the Act, the Authority has consulted on a Universality Framework as well as draft Universality Regulations. The Universality Framework has been finalized and can be viewed here. The Authority has submitted the draft regulations to the Minister for laying in Parliament pursuant to Section 79 of the Act.”These documents highlight:
The definition of basic telecommunications services
The Digital Divide concept
Universality Funding Mechanisms
Establishment of a Universality Fund