ETC Activities

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) website states that "Palau is an island nation of the Micronesian group of islands in the northern Pacific with a population of roughly 20,000. Palau receives substantial assistance from the United States through the Compact of Free Association. Palau's economy is highly reliant on tourism and services, with tourism accounting for more than 20% of gross domestic product (GDP) and services representing 77%.

The ICT sector is widely recognized as an enabler of economic growth, social stability and development. Analysis has demonstrated that increased access to ICT, particularly broadband internet services, helps to deliver improved social services such as health and education, as well as banking among others. It brings efficiency and reduces the cost of such services and in turn enables an environment conducive to private sector investments.

At present, Palau relies entirely on geo-stationary satellite links for internet connectivity. The high cost and limited international bandwidth restricts internet penetration. Moreover, the technical limitations of capacity and the delay associated with such satellite based connectivity severely limit the quality of the service. As an interim solution Palau and FSM telecom providers have separately contracted for a five-year 150 megabit (MB) per second service from a medium earth orbit satellite broadband service starting end-2014. Once the submarine cable system is operational the satellite system will complement the more reliable cable system providing back-up in case of an interruption." The current estimated date for the physical completion of the submarine cable landing station in Palau is 30 September 2018.

The ETC is focussed on preparedness activities in Pacific Island countries under its Pacific Emergency Preparedness and Response (EPR) project, lead by WFP. The Pacific ETC intends to conduct an emergency ICT assessment in Palau through close consultation with national stakeholders.