I am writing this post sitting in Apia, Samoa, in a room packed with representatives from policymakers and regulators from 13 Pacific Island Countries (PICs), ranging from the Cook Islands to Vanuatu. I have been engaging with ICT policymakers and regulators in the PICs since 2006 and have never seen this level of enthusiasm and engagement. The subjects covered in this two-day training course were decided on by the participants.
My first assignment is to discuss ITU and PiRRC indicators. The Pacific is something of a “black hole” in terms of sector indicators. One cause appears to be difficulties experienced by regulators in obtaining data from operators. Information is the oxygen of regulation and some operators seek to starve regulators of this vital resource. Another cause is the lower priority assigned to the collection and reporting of indicator data by policy makers and regulators. The former is a serious issue that regulators need to think seriously about. PiRRC seeks to help regulators address the latter problem.