DEVELOPMENT OF QUALITY OF SERVICE STANDARDS AND REGULATIONS
- Reference: P-SC-GB0-003
- Approval date: 03/11/2014
- Start date: 05/11/2015
- Appraisal Date: 30/05/2014
- Status: OngoingOnGo
- Implementing Agency: GOVERNMENT OF SEYCHELLES MINISTRY OF FINANCE
- Location: Seychelles Government
There are three components in this project namely
(i) Development of standards that are benchmark against regional and international best practice to be used for monitoring of quality of service in the ICT sector
(ii) Development of regulations that will outline clear procedures for publishing quality of service parameters, enforcement and compliances. Mechanisms
(iii) Provide capacity building for the regulatory staff in the Department of Information and Communications (DICT) to better equip the DICT staff with the necessary skills and knowledge to be able to regulate the ICT sector effectively and maintain any quality of service tools recommended by the study
The objective of the study is to ensure reliable and efficient delivery of high quality communication and broadcast services and attendant customer service in the Seychelles.
The proposal for a study was included in the Combined 2011 -2015 Country Strategy Paper (CSP) Mid-Term Review (MTR) and Country Portfolio Performance Review (CPPR) approved by the Board on 29 November 2013. The CSP indicated a sum of UA0.3 million for the study. Notwithstanding the existing support of the Board for the MTR/CPPR, note should be taken that quality of service regulations do not readily fall within the Bank's objective for inclusive growth. To take an example, in a properly functioning mobile market, existing levels of price, coverage and quality would reflect an optimal allocation of resources. A requirement to amend resource allocation to prioritise quality of service would also, economically, result in a sub-optimal allocation of resources. To fund the requirement, mobile service providers would raise (or lower less quickly) prices in the market (provided costs were marginal, as would likely be the case, and not fixed) and/or reduce investment in coverage. Whichever happened, there would be an exclusionary effect: those with a mobile would have better quality of service but prices might raise making telephone ownership uneconomic for the marginal customer or unattainable for those not yet connected or coverage might be constrained meaning potential customers remain unserved. In the case of Seychelles this exclusionary result of imposing quality of service obligations should be set aside. The country has 95,000 mobile subscriptions representing 62,000 unique subscribers (or 1.5 SIMs per subscriber). With a population of 93,000, this suggests that most of the adult population of the country has direct access to mobile telephony at least. Any deleterious effect from the imposition of quality of service standards on the mobile market is likely to be very slight. On the broader market of fixed telecommunications, data and broadcasting the deleterious effect may be present but, particularly in the case of data, unless quality of service is assured no signal is received (as data is binary not a radio-wave). On balance, but as no precedent exists for any future request for quality of service regulatory support from another country, the benefit of the regulation prospectively outweighs any exclusionary effect it may have. It should improve data usage - if there is found to be a quality of service problem - and will encourage use of telephony and broadcast. However, until the study is done, it is not possible to tell if there is a problem or not and, if so, what value rectification of the problem will bring.
The targeted beneficiaries are all users of communications and broadcast services in the Seychelles. The scale of any benefit is not possible to gauge at this stage. If services are actually being provided currently at or above international norms of quality of service, then any benefit may be minimal or non-existent. More likely, however, a benefit will accrue to users as a consequence of the application of the quality of services parameters and de minimis performance levels that are outputs to the proposed study.
SAINE Maleh - OITC3