Press Release – August 20th 2018

TongaIX, Free-Wifi at Ports, TCL Cloud and Retail Services and 50% Discount on Wholesale Price

Introduction:

Collaboration among stakeholders i.e. Ministry of Public Enterprise (MPE), Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC), Tonga Communication Corporation (TCC), Digicel Tonga Limited (DTL), The University of the South Pacific (USP) and Tonga Cable Ltd (TCL) guaranteed the successful completion of TongaIX, Free-Internet-Wifi at Ports and 50% discount on Internet capacity wholesale price.

TongaIX:

TongaIX is an Internet Exchange Point (IXP) and it was successfully implemented in August 2018. It is a physical infrastructure that enables both TCC and DTL to exchange Internet traffic between their networks by means of mutual peering agreement, which generally allow traffic to be exchanged without cost.

Peering on an IXP can improve network performance (shorter paths), improve reliability (multiple paths to destinations) and reduce cost.

Free-Wifi at Ports:

The Free-Internet-Wifi at Ports was an initiative driven by MPE and it allows travelers and tourists to get 30mins of free internet via both TCC and DTL Wifi Access Points at Ports. This project was completed for Fua’amotu Airport and Vuna Wharf in June 2018 and to be implemented for Vava’u, Ha’apai and ‘Eua in the near future.

TCL Cloud and Retail Services:

Due to the “Share Purchase Agreement” between DTL and the Tongan Government, TCL had to cease the “Provision of Retail Services”. After a series of negotiations, DTL changed its official position to allow TCL to provide both retail service providers with a wholesale hardware business model whereby TCL provide wholesale access to retail service by providing both DTL and TCC on an equal access with non-discriminatory basis using a revenue share business model for retail services in June 2018.

Wholesale 50% discount:

It was part of MEIDECC mandate as the Regulator to ensure there is reduction of Internet tariff from all Service Providers. Consequently, in March 2018 the TCL Board of Directors approved to double current Internet capacity to both service providers i.e. TCC and DTL, but on the existing wholesale price. In reality TCL dropped Internet capacity wholesale price by 50% and by far the cheapest in the Pacific. The Amendment to Reference Interconnection Offer (RIO) was finalized and forwarded to the Regulator i.e. MEIDECC in March 2018. The same initiative was offered to USP under the discount rate for Educational Institutions and was finalized in May 2018.

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