|1. Project Data:
ICR Review Date Posted:
|Telecommunications & Ict Development Project
Project Costs(US $M)
|C4056, C4057, C4058, C4059, L4775, L4776, L4777, L4778
Loan/Credit (US $M)
|Global Information/Communications Technology
Cofinancing (US $M)
Board Approval Date
|Telecommunications (80%), Central government administration (15%), Law and justice (5%)|
|Infrastructure services for private sector development (33% - P)
Regional integration (17% - S)
Regulation and competition policy (17% - S)
Judicial and other dispute resolution mechanisms (17% - S)
Legal institutions for a market economy (16% - S)|
||ICR Review Coordinator:
|Melvin P. Vaz
||Robert Mark Lacey
|2. Project Objectives and Components:|
a. Objectives:Development objective in the Project Appraisal Document (PAD, page 5): "to improve the access, quality and use of telecommunications and ICT services to achieve socioeconomic development in the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)."
Development objective in the Loan Agreements (for each participating country): "to improve public access to and the quality and use of telecommunications and information and communications technology (ICT) services, in support of socio-economic development among the Participating Countries."
This review assesses the objective as stated in the Loan Agreements, since it is more monitorable.
b. Were the project objectives/key associated outcome targets revised during implementation?
c. Components:1. Support for Legal and Regulatory Reforms (US$0.840 million at appraisal, US$0.840 million at closure)
This component was to strengthen the national and regional regulatory frameworks and promote additional competition in the telecommunications sector through the following outputs:
- Updating the telecommunications act and tariff regulations of the participating countries in accordance with the new market and technology conditions.
- Establishing a regional forum for consensus building and alternative dispute resolution. The forum would facilitate resolution of issues that have a commercial and public policy dimension and seek consensus on commercial issues among industry players.
- Assisting the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority and National Telecommunication Regulatory Commissions in developing a modern cost methodology to determine interconnection and related consumer tariffs.
- Providing a comprehensive review of telecommunications legislation, with a focus on interconnection and spectrum management, and implement numbering and dispute resolution procedures.
- Providing a comprehensive regional program of related training to Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority and National Telecommunication Regulatory Commission staff and government officials of the participating countries.
2. Universal Access (US$1.270 million at appraisal, US$1.270 million at closure)
This component was to review current universal access policy, create related guidelines and provide support to establish a Universal Service Fund. The component would produce the following outputs:
- Assistance to Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority member states in preparing/updating a comprehensive paper to define Universal Service Guidelines for improving access to broadband connectivity;
- Assistance to Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority and National Telecommunication Regulatory Commissions to implement regulations, policy, operating procedures, collection of funds, selecting projects and issuing Universal Service Fund tenders; and
- Establish the Universal Service Fund and provide a one-time subsidy to service providers.
3. Information and Communication Technologies (US$1.030 million at appraisal, US$1.030 million at closure)
The objective of this component was to improve growth and competitiveness in Information and Communication Technology enabled services through utilization of broadband infrastructure through the following outputs:
- Extend the use of broadband applications by government and the private sector by (i) identifying appropriate policies and regulations; (ii) elaborating and recommending a common information systems architecture and standards for the member states and (iii) designing and implementing up to five pilot projects to encourage regional use of broadband technologies.
- Establish an alternative telecommunications system to transfer data from the Radio Spectrum Monitoring System to Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority and the five National Telecommunication Regulatory Commissions.
4. Project Management (US$0.245 million at appraisal, US$0.245 million at closure).
d. Comments on Project Cost, Financing, Borrower Contribution, and DatesProject Cost: The actual project cost at closure was US$3.38 million, close to the appraisal estimate of US$ 3.39 million.
Financing: Of the total project cost, US$1.35 million was financed from the IDA credit, and US$1.36 million from the IBRD loan. Both amounts were the same as the appraisal estimates.
Borrower Cost: The Borrower contribution at appraisal and at closing was US$ 0.68 million (ICR, page 31).
Dates: The original closing date (December 31, 2009) was extended twice for a total of two years: the first extension was until December 31, 2010 due to delays in implementing the Universal Service and ICT pilot projects, and reallocation of loan and credit amounts to increase the consultancy category; and the second extension was until December 31, 2011 due to delays in implementing the Universal Service projects. The project closed on December 31, 2011.
|3. Relevance of Objectives & Design:|
a. Relevance of Objectives:High
- The objectives were relevant to country conditions, characterized by a lower teledensity than other upper middle income countries, higher unit charges than competitors, and relatively low internet access.
- The objectives were relevant to the World Bank strategy for the OECS countries: According to the 2005 World Bank report on OECS - Towards a New Agenda for Growth,"... telecommunication services are critical to the development of service exports and in improving competitiveness in the OECS. Despite recent advances in this area, with the establishment of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority and the successful dismantling of the sub-regional monopoly in some key areas, the OECS will have to make significant advances in lowering costs and expanding access. This issue is a matter of priority because of the broad impact that access to the internet can have on firms, households and the government."
- The objectives were relevant to Borrower strategy: According to the Regional Partnership Strategy of OECS (2010-2014), "OECS Heads of Government....at the 50th meeting in Anguilla in November 2009, approved establishment of an ICT Ministerial Council to guide policy making in ICT - a major area for growth, diversification, regional integration and overall competitiveness.". According to the June 2001 Country Assistance Strategy (FY02-06), ".. the passage of coordinated, consistent telecommunications laws in five OECS countries and the steps taken to establish a single regulatory agency are already having a positive impact on telecommunications costs". In 1998, 5 country members of OECS (Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines) embarked on a liberalization process that passed new telecommunications acts, terminated monopoly rights, and established the first regional telecommunications regulatory authority in the world called the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL).
b. Relevance of Design:Substantial.
The causal chain leading to the achievement of the development objectives of improved access, use and quality of Information and Communications Technology services is clear and convincing. For example, activities financed under the Information and Communication Technologies component could demonstrate the effective use of broadband applications which, in turn, could lead to improved access, quality and use of Information and Communications Technology services.
The casual chain leading from the project activities to the achievement of improved access, use and quality of telecommunications services is also clear. For example, competition in the telecommunications sector can be resisted by the former monopolist, making network interconnection for new entrants difficult, expensive, slow, or inadequate. To address these problems, design included work on interconnection regulations, cost methodology for interconnection and consumer rates, and dispute resolution procedures (ICR, page 31). Similarly, Component 2, on universal access, addresses the issue that some groups may not have their needs met by the market, even in a generally competitive environment. In these cases universal access initiatives can help provide access beyond what would be achieved by the market, thereby extending the benefits of reform.
|4. Achievement of Objectives (Efficacy) :|
The development objective -- to improve public access to and the quality and use of telecommunications and information and communications technology (ICT) services, in support of socio-economic development among the Participating Countries -- is assessed below under the headings of its three sub-objectives (access, quality, and use).
Development Objective 1: Improved access to telecommunications and Information and Communication Technology services in support of socioeconomic development: Substantial
- Universal Service guidelines and policy was prepared and implemented on October 15th, 2011, but with a delay of close to 2 years enabling the five Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority member states to establish their Universal Service Funds (ICR page 33).
- A procedures manual was prepared to assist Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority and National Telecommunication Regulatory Commissions to implement Universal Service in Telecommunications, and on-site support was provided to assist Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority and National Telecommunication Regulatory Commissions to implement Universal Service Fund component (ICR page 33).
- The second Universal Service project in Dominica was successful in establishing broadband internet facilities in three under-served areas (Belles, Concorde and Sinekou). In addition, funding was provided to: (i) procure equipment and software to help National Telecommunication Regulatory Commission strengthen its capacity for Universal Service Fund (ii) procure equipment and software to implement programs for Dominica Association of Persons and Disabilities and (iii) provide computer skills training to youth population in six training centers.
- Internet and broadband services were established in ten targeted rural and under served communities in Grenada.
- A high speed wireless network for communication, collaboration, e-learning and research was established in eight high schools in St. Kitts and Nevis.
- Information and Communication Technology equipment and software were procured for persons with special needs in five institutions in St. Lucia.
- The activity to improve the Very High Frequency coverage for maritime areas in St. Vincent and the Grenadines was not carried out.
- An update on Telecommunications Acts and Regulations of Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority member states was drafted on October, 2010.
- A procedures and training manual on Alternative Dispute Resolution in the telecommunications sector of the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority member states was prepared.
- Technical assistance was provided by a consultancy on the development of Cost Models for Fixed and Mobile interconnection services.
- A total of twenty two workshop and training courses were organized under the Regional Collaboration, Training and Resource and Information Sharing sub-component.
- The internet penetration (per 100 people) increased from 7.6 percent in 2008 to 14.06 percent in 2011, slightly below its target of 15 percent.
- International Rates per minute to US (US$) remained unchanged (Baseline: 0.47; Target: 0.23; Actual: 0.46).
- Additional information from the project team indicates that ICT use for St. Lucia increased from 5.48 (2010) to 5.72 (2011) and for St. Vincent and the Grenadines increased from 2.15 (2007) to 6.09 (2011). However, there is no information on ICT use for the remaining three member countries.
- Additional information from the project team shows that mobile cellular subscriptions (per 100 people) increased from 69.4 in 2005 to 123.4 in 2010. While such penetration is likely to have been influenced by a wide range of factors as well as by the project, taken together with the increased access to the Internet and the enhanced affordability resulting from lower interconnection and internet tariffs, the efficacy of this sub-objective is rated substantial.
Development Objective 2: Improved quality of telecommunications and Information and Communication Technology services in support of socioeconomic development: Substantial
- The outputs for this objective are the same as those for objective 1.
- Usage of Broadband Services (subscribers per 100 people) increased from 2.88 percent in 2008 to 13.77 percent in 2011, slightly below the target of 15 percent. Broadband performance (in terms of down loading speed) more than doubled for Grenada, Dominica and St. Lucia, and increased by more than 50 percent for St. Kitts & Nevis and St. Vincent & Grenadines (see Table below). Taken together, this evidence indicates improved quality of services.
- In the light of the evidence of improved quality of performance for broadband services, and related internet enhancements, which are applicable to telecommunications as well as to ICT more generally, the efficacy rating for this sub-objective is substantial.
- However, the evidence related to improved quality of service could have been strengthened by conducting surveys and collecting information from community access points and schools in which the Universal Service projects have been implemented.
Development Objective 3: Improved use of telecommunications and Information and Communication Technology services in support of socioeconomic development: Modest
- A model National Information and Communication Technology plan was developed and submitted to Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority member states for adoption (ICR page 33).
- A portal to facilitate interactive live streaming of classes and archived video of classes on the internet was made available to all schools in Dominica.
- Lego Mindstroms Robotics Invention System which involved computers, robotic kits and related accessories enabled students of five participating secondary schools in Grenada to design and construct robots, were procured.
- Establishment of a community technology center at Dieppe Bay village in St. Kitts and Nevis.
- Establishment of a community based resource center to provide internet access for public use in the town of Soufriere in St. Lucia.
- A Digital Classroom Live Portal which included 20 lessons was made available to all schools in St. Vincent.
- According to the ICR (page 37), a recommendation was made in the consultant's final report on a voice/data communication solution to link Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority and the National Telecommunication Regulatory Commissions in order to replace the existing data communication system linking these entities.
- The percentage of individuals using internet almost doubled for St. Lucia and St. Kitts & Nevis, increased between 2005 and 2011 by 10 percent for Dominica and Grenada, and by 4 times for St. Vincent & Grenadines (see Table below).
* 2011 data comes from 2010 report since latest available
- Although this evidence to some extent points to improved use of
Iservices, the ICR lacked evidence on some of the other important indicators of usage (such as, sending or receiving emails, e-commerce related activities, use of the internet in schools, internet banking, frequency of individual use of the internet, location of individual users of the internet).
According to the ICR (Annex 3), there was a consumer surplus of about US$5 million from reduced telephone tariffs and a surplus of US$4 million from reduced internet charges between 2005 and 2011. However, there was no attempt made to relate this to the cost of the activities supported by the project. The surplus in and of itself, therefore, does not demonstrate efficiency in the use of project resources.
The implementation period was extended for a total of two of 2 years (about 44% of the original implementation schedule). Even then, US$ 146,870 had to be cancelled because equipment for Very High Frequency services in St. Vincent and the Grenadines had not been delivered by project closure. Capacity issues at the level of the National Telecommunication Regulatory Commissions constrained the speed at which the Universal Service projects were designed resulting in implementation delays. Also, implementation delays were caused because of several extensions of the bids due to limited private sector interest in the bidding process.
Efficiency is rated Modest
a. If available, enter the Economic Rate of Return (ERR)/Financial Rate of Return at appraisal and the re-estimated value at evaluation:
* Refers to percent of total project cost for which ERR/FRR was calculated