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MAKING INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT) ACCESSIBLE

Abel Pires da Silva East Timor ICT Association (ICT-TL)

WHAT IS ICT?

“ICTs are basically information handling tools—a varied set of goods, applications and services that are used to produce, store, process, distribute and exchange information. They include the “old” ICTs of radio, television and telephone, and the “new” ICTs of computers, satellites and wireless technology and the Internet. These different tools are now able to work together, and combine to form our “networked world”, a massive infrastructure of interconnected telephone services, standardized computer hardware, the Internet, radio and television, which reaches into every corner of the globe’*

*Academy of ICT for Government Leaders, UNAPC ICT (http://www.unacpict.org )

BACKGROUND OF ICT IN TIMORLESTE

Telecommunication Concession Contract:
 15-year

monopoly in the form of a build operate transfer (BOT) concession contract  Role of Telecommunication Regulatory Body is still weak

No Integrated ICT Policy Development in Place
 ICT

Governance (Connectivity, Content and Capacity, legal requirements)

Embryonic Information Society

CURRENT HINDRANCES TO ICT ACCESS IN TIMOR-LESTE -1

Limited understanding and recognition of how ICT can contribute to development shared amongst Decision Makers, Regulators and public in general The abolition of the Department of Telecommunication and Transport in 2007, and its merger with other sectors to form the Department of Infrastructure – is an indication of the low priority given by the government to the development of the ICT sector.

CURRENT HINDRANCES TO ICT ACCESS IN TIMOR-LESTE -2

15 years TT Monopoly arrangement, resulting in:
 Encouragement

for the operator to maximize shortterm profits (15 years time limit)  High price regime  Limited number of customers  Low quality of services  No/limited consumer protection  Limited investment

‘Telecommunications in the Pacific’, Background paper for the Pacific Economic Survey

‘Telecommunications in the Pacific’, Background paper for the Pacific Economic Survey

‘Telecommunications in the Pacific’, Background paper for the Pacific Economic Survey

CURRENT HINDRANCES TO ICT ACCESS IN TIMOR-LESTE - 3

Lack of Supporting Infrastructure (No power supply, Connectivity, Hardware/software):
 Appr.

only 43,500 households have access to electricity* (22 %)  Of this: 85 % are in Dili, only 5 % in Rural areas)

High level of Illiteracy -adult literacy rate is only 50.1%(ages 15 and older)**
 Limiting

the form of content to Video/Audio only –no

text)
*World Bank report 2007, **Ausaid (http://www.ausaid.gov.au/country/country.cfm? CountryId=911)

CURRENT HINDRANCES TO ICT ACCESS IN TIMOR-LESTE - 4

Poverty. Estimated number of poor people is 49.9 % (living on less than US$1 a day)* It will be even higher if the standard is to be raised to US$ 2/day (could potentially reach 60-70% figure)

*Timor-Leste Survey of Living Standards 2007, Directorate of National Statistics, Ministry of Finance, with support from the World Bank

CURRENT HINDRANCES TO ICT ACCESS IN TIMOR-LESTE - 5

Some hidden challenges:
 Change

management as ICT use in most cases requires changes in some aspects within the organization (the way things are done: Introduction of new procedures, new culture, etc.) management as over expectation could kill any ICT4D initiatives aspects: Culture, political, physical conditions, etc.

 Expectation

 Non-technical

CHANGES FOR BETTER ICT ACCESS IN TL

Focus on two main aspects:
Development ICT Sector itself 2. ICT for Development (ICD4D) Strategy
1.

CHANGES FOR BETTER ICT ACCESS IN TL1

Political Level:
 Competition

(where market works –economically viable regions)  Universal Service Obligation (where market does not work-economically unviable regions)  Empowerment of Telecommunication Regulatory Body (ARCOM)

Requires proper assessment of ICT4D needs in TL (sector by sector –health, education, agriculture, etc.)

CHANGES FOR BETTER ICT ACCESS IN TL -2

Development of an Integrated ICT Development Policy and Plan:
 ICT  3C

for Development (ICD4D) Deployments

– Connectivity, Content (especially Local content) and Capacity (Human Resource):
Connectivity to the remote sites of Timor using appropriate Technology (Wireless) Local Content Development to suit local needs in terms of language and form Human resource development strategy

CHANGES FOR BETTER ICT ACCESS IN TL -3

Localization of Internet content inside Timor-Leste (Intranet strategy):
 Local

servers: for email, websites, news, e-commerce, wiki, etc.  Limit the use of expensive Internet International bandwidth – lower cost

Localization of the forms of the Content: Local languages and appropriate forms of content (Audio/video).
 For

instance: use locally developed animation to teach Timor’s history, health campaign, etc.

CHANGES FOR BETTER ICT ACCESS IN TL -4

Technology in use: Wireless, Open Source Software and Open hardware-Low procurement and maintenance costs The use of ICT to deal with factors hindering ICT Use in Timor-Leste:
 ICT

Based/support Income generation activities  ICT Based learning materials to combat Illiteracy (The Cuban experience)  ICT Based/support for the Empowerment of women

The ICT for Development (ICT4D) Task Force

TO SUM UP
ICT Sector Development – Pro development approach  ICT for Development (ICT4D) Strategy  Technology in use: Wireless, Open Source System and Open Hardware  Consider non ICT related aspects (cultural, educational, political, physical conditions, expectations, change, etc.)

THANK YOU