The proposed project will support the Government of Tonga to develop and operate a submarine fibre optic cable for communications. Complementing the due diligence activities by the World Bank and TCL, a project preparatory technical assistance (PPTA) is proposed to carry out sector analysis; gender, poverty and social analysis; and governance risk assessment as well as prepare other inputs required for the project.
|Project Name||Tonga-Fiji Submarine Cable Project|
|Project Type / Modality of Assistance||Technical Assistance
|Source of Funding / Amount||
|Strategic Agendas||Inclusive economic growth
|Drivers of Change||Private sector development
|Sector / Subsector||
Information and communication technology - ICT infrastructure
|Gender Equity and Mainstreaming||Some gender elements|
|Description||The proposed project will support the Government of Tonga to develop and operate a submarine fibre optic cable for communications. Complementing the due diligence activities by the World Bank and TCL, a project preparatory technical assistance (PPTA) is proposed to carry out sector analysis; gender, poverty and social analysis; and governance risk assessment as well as prepare other inputs required for the project.|
|Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy||
Tonga has been the first country among the Pacific developing member countries that introduced competition in telecommunications sector. Since 2002, access to basic telecommunications has increased significantly in Tonga. Mobile teledensity is around 60%, among the highest in the Pacific, and call tariffs are among the lowest in the region. However, Internet access, particularly broadband, is extremely limited, and user prices are as high as $400 per month for 512/128kbps broadband service, and demand is apparently suppressed.
The principal constraint to further telecommunications development, including introduction of new services and new market entry, has been identified by all stakeholders as the limited capacity and high cost of international bandwidth. This is due to Tonga's dependence on satellite connectivity which is inadequate to meet growing demand for bandwidth. Current market price for two-way satellite capacity is approximately $3,800 per Mbps per month. Total demand for bandwidth is projected to increase from the 2009 level of about 70 Mbps up to 332 Mbps by 2017, driven primarily by increased demand for fixed and mobile broadband. With the current satellite capacity and price, it would be impossible to meet the growing demand.
Improved access to and lower cost of international connectivity in Tonga will stimulate increased access to broadband Internet, and lower the cost of telecommunications services generally. Faster and cheaper connectivity is expected to have numerous positive development impacts for Tonga, including reduced transaction costs for business, Government and household communications; new business opportunities (for example, investments in e-commerce and business process outsourcing facilities); improved public service delivery, in particular to support e-education and e-health services which are of great interest to the Government. Improved connectivity will have significant social benefits in a country with a large number of the people residing in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. Recent studies illustrate a sizable impact of broadband internet services on the economic growth especially in developing countries. The submarine cable would also facilitate regional integration by lowering communications costs between countries in the region, in particular trade in services, collaboration in health and education service delivery, and in part compensate for limited transport infrastructure between and within island countries.
|Impact||The key objective of the PPTA is to assist the Government and ADB in preparing necessary inputs for the project preparation.|
|Description of Outcome||Thorough due diligence activities are required to validate the rationale, assure technical quality, examine any associated risks, and develop mitigation plans following relevant ADB guidelines.|
|Progress Toward Outcome|
|Description of Project Outputs||The outputs of the TA include: (i) a sector analysis; (ii) a gender, social and poverty analysis looking at impact on affordability of communication services and additional social development dimensions; and (iii) a Project Administration Manual which will be included in the RRP.|
|Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)|
|Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects|
|Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation|
|During Project Design||Types of consultation and participation will include group discussions and individual consultation with key government officials at all levels, regulatory authorities, private sector partners, along with focus group discussion with communities.|
|During Project Implementation||Project stakeholders include the Ministry of Finance and National Planning, Ministry of Information and Communications, Ministry of Public Enterprise, Tonga Communications Corporation and TCL. Digicel Tonga has been consulted for their interest and concerns on the proposed project as well as a possible equity investment or a long term capacity purchase agreement.|
The PPTA requires six consultants with expertise in diverse areas for short duration. Therefore, individual consultants will be engaged for 6 person-months of international consultant services.
Consultant requirements have been met. Implementation is still ongoing.
|Responsible ADB Officer||Van Rijn, Johannes Jacobus Frederik|
|Responsible ADB Department||Pacific Department|
|Responsible ADB Division||Urban, Social Development & Public Management Division, PARD|
Asian Development Bank
6 ADB Avenue,
Mandaluyong City 1550, Philippines
|Concept Clearance||08 Jul 2010|
|Approval||08 Jul 2010|
|Last Review Mission||-|
|PDS Creation Date||13 Jul 2010|
|Last PDS Update||02 Sep 2011|
|Approval||Signing Date||Effectivity Date||Closing|
|08 Jul 2010||-||08 Jul 2010||31 Mar 2011||31 Dec 2011||-|
|Financing Plan/TA Utilization||Cumulative Disbursements|
|165,000.00||0.00||10,000.00||0.00||0.00||0.00||175,000.00||08 Jul 2010||71,463.99|
Project Data Sheets (PDS) contain summary information on the project or program. Because the PDS is a work in progress, some information may not be included in its initial version but will be added as it becomes available. Information about proposed projects is tentative and indicative.
The Public Communications Policy (PCP) recognizes that transparency and accountability are essential to development effectiveness. It establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced.
The Accountability Mechanism provides a forum where people adversely affected by ADB-assisted projects can voice and seek solutions to their problems and report alleged noncompliance of ADB's operational policies and procedures.
In preparing any country program or strategy, financing any project, or by making any designation of, or reference to, a particular territory or geographic area in this document, the Asian Development Bank does not intend to make any judgments as to the legal or other status of any territory or area.
None currently available.
Safeguard Documents See also: Safeguards
Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.
None currently available.
Evaluation Documents See also: Independent Evaluation
None currently available.
None currently available.
The Public Communications Policy (PCP) establishes the disclosure requirements for documents and information ADB produces or requires to be produced in its operations to facilitate stakeholder participation in ADB's decision-making. For more information, refer to the Safeguard Policy Statement, Operations Manual F1, and Operations Manual L3.
Requests for information may also be directed to the InfoUnit.