Provision of access to telephone services by means of telecentres

2008 marked the completion of the process of Universal Service implementation through the installation of telecentres once with the awarding, on the 7th of May 2008, of the last 172 localities where telecentres were to be installed. Following this final tender, the total number of localities benefiting from telecentres has reached 633, the Authority surpassing its objective, i.e. connecting 600 isolated communities to telephony and Internet services.

Within the national programme for the installation of telecentres, the Universal Service providers, selected following an open public tender, install telecentres in isolated localities, offering the inhabitants telephone, fax and Internet access services. The telecentres ensure the access of rural communities to the electronic communications services and are the outposts of the communications infrastructure facilitating the extension of networks to the individual households. Also, the set up of telecentres contributes to making more familiar and educating the consumers with regard to the electronic communications services, while leading to the increase of the demand for such services in the rural area.
The localities included in the national programme for the installation of telecentres were chosen in close connection to the number of inhabitants and the low level of availability of the telephone services. Furthermore, the mayoralties of these localities expressed their interest to participate in the project launched by the Authority.
Following the seven tenders held by the Authority during 2004-2008, a total of 7 operators were designated as Universal Service providers (USP) and installed telecentres:
- S.C. Accessnet International S.R.L. – 150 telecentres
- S.C. Euroweb Romania S.A. – 1 telecentre
- S.C. Orange Romania S.A. – 95 telecentres
- S.C. Rartel S.A. – 81 telecentres
- S.C. Romtelecom S.A. – 9 telecentres
- Radiocommunication National Company S.A. – 199 telecentres
- S.C. Vodafone Romania S.A. – 98 telecentres.

The telecentres – the partners and their responsibilities:
The local administration:
  • Provide and maintain the telecentre location (including the utilities and the personnel)
  • Operate, maintain and ensure the security of the terminal equipment
  • Ensure the users’ access to the services offered in the telecentre
  • Invoice the services employed
The Universal Service providers:
  • Install, operate and maintain the connection and the provision of services through the respective connection
  • Purchase, install and ensure the equipment in the telecentres
  • Ensure the training and support of the personnel operating in the telecentre
  • Designate the Universal Service provider and determine the net cost of the equipping and operation of the telecentre for a 3-year period, based on the tender results
  • Monitor the compliance with the contractual obligations by the Universal Service provider and the local administration
  • Finance the net cost from the Universal Service fund
Tenders held:
- September 2004 – pilot tender – 5 telecentres (one USP)
- September 2005 – 2nd tender – 33 telecentres (5 USPs)
- December 2005 – 3rd tender – 70 telecentres (3 USPs)
- April 2006 – 4th tender – 100 telecentres (4 USPs)
- November 2006 – 5th tender – 123 telecentres (4 USPs)
- July 2007 – 6th tender – 130 telecentres (3 USPs)
- March 2008 – 7th tender – 172 telecentres (4 USPs)