The UAS Fund was established through the National ICT Act 2009 to promote the long-term economic and social development of Papua NEW Guinea by funding approved UAS Projects that will encourage the development of ICT infrastructure and improve the availability of ICT services within Papua New Guinea, including in rural communities.
Pursuant to Section 100 of the Act, the Universal Access and Service Fund shall be financed from funds which may include but not limited to
- All monies appropriated for the purpose of the Universal Access and Service Fund, and
- All monies received from the Universal Access and Service Levy paid by operator licensees in accordance with Section 107; and
- All monies paid pursuant to Sections 32(2)(a) and 36 (2)(b)(i); and
- All monies paid by any person for the purposes of Universal Access and Service Fund; and
- Amounts appropriated as Government contribution to a project which is partly funded by an international agency, whether by loan or grant.
UAS Fund Mission Statement
NICTA will utilize the UAS Fund to support investments in the telecommunications and ICT sector in Papua New Guinea, to promote universal access to and utilization of modern, beneficial services throughout the country. UAS Fund resources may be employed to subsidize the costs of infrastructure, networks, facilities, services, equipment, applications, content, and human resource development. The Fund will be utilized to underwrite investments and costs for market segments that would not otherwise be commercially viable. NICTA will strive to manage the Fund in an equitable, cost-effective, transparent, and competitively neutral manner.
UAS Fund Vision
NICTA’s vision for the medium-term development of the telecommunications sector in Papua New Guinea encompasses the following goals:
- Universal access to coverage of broadband mobile telecommunications networks and services for all PNG citizens and communities;
- Wide access to advanced, high quality, broadband telecommunications networks and services, and increasing utilization of these services throughout society;
- Expansion of access to free over-the-air radio and television broadcast signals;
- Development and adoption of a broad array of useful and valuable ICT applications and content for all segments of the population;
- Increasing awareness, capacity, and contribution by all citizens in ICT-based activities, business and employment, and public services;
- Growing contribution of advanced and innovative ICTs to support inclusive socio-economic development and opportunity.
This vision is closely aligned with both the Papua New Guinea Development Strategic Plan (DSP) 2010-2030, and the Papua New Guinea Vision 2050. The DSP 2010-2030 defined one of its priority goals as: “A modern and affordable information and communications technology that reaches all parts of the country.” It also identified several specific targets for ICT growth, including 800 mobile subscribers per 1000 population, 70% using the Internet, and100% access to radio and television. The targets for the UAS regime would be to meet or exceed those objectives. The Vision 2050 also includes a range of Strategic Focus Areas for PNG development, which will be enabled and reinforced by expansion of access to high quality ICT services. These include, among others, Human Capital Development, Gender, Youth and People Empowerment, Institutional Development and Service Delivery, and Spiritual, Cultural and Community Development.