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 is guided by the Universal Service Framework, 2012 and the Universal Service Regulations, 2015 which sets out the overarching principles for the implementation and fulfillment of universal service objectives and initiatives. The Universal Service Regulations, 2015 were promulgated on May 5th, 2015 as Legal Notice No. 63 of 2015. The Universal Service Framework can be viewed here, the Universal Service Regulations, 2015 here and the Universal Service (Amendment) Regulations, 2019 here.