Support for Legal and Regulatory Reform in Telecommunications:
Nathan Associates advised the Government of the Republic of Palau on drafting a new telecommunications law to enable effective competition. Some of the provisions in the law covered a modern spectrum licensing system, cost-based interconnection and access regulations, and competition safeguards. Once approved by the Government, the law would establish an independent telecommunications authority to implement the law’s provisions. We also drafted a model regulation to accompany the new law. The regulation comprises numerous regulations on licensing, interconnection and access, radio spectrum management, and infrastructure sharing.
Advice on Development Phase for Submarine Fiber Optic Cable to Guam:
Secondly, Nathan advised the Government of Palau on the development of a submarine cable company that links Palau with Guam. We developed recommendations on the organization and governance of the cable company and its articles of incorporation and bylaws; developed a discounted cash flow model for assessing the company’s financial viability; and drafted open access rules for leasing capacity in the cable. We also guided the drafting of a construction and maintenance agreement, advised on the negotiations of the agreement to purchase an indefeasible right of use in a submarine cable, and advised on debt financing for the capital investment in the cable. In March 2016 the Government of Palau obtained US$25 million in loans from the Asian Development Bank to finance this investment.
Assessment of Spectrum Holdings and Spectrum Band Plans:
Nathan also assessed current radio spectrum holdings in these bands: FM radio, terrestrial television, emergency response, and International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT).
We then provided the Government of Palau with a master plan for spectrum recovery, which included advice on international best practices and on allocations of bands for broadcasting, mobile services, emergency services, and public Wi-Fi. Our team also advised on the processes for enabling the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, Industries, and Commerce (MPIIC) to recover spectrum allocated to operators that exceeds their current requirements and to clear frequencies required for government entities to deliver telecommunications services.