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 Digital Opportunity through Technology & Communication Partnerships

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Official launch of the Romania Information Technology Initiative
[Issue I: Fall 02]

Dr. Kent Hill, USAID, answers questions from the Romanian press On July 29, 2002 in Bucharest, the Romanian Information Technology Initiative (RITI) was launched by representatives of the Romanian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), USAID, and the DOT-COM Alliance. MCIT Minister Dan Nica and Dr. Kent Hill, USAID Europe and Eurasia Bureau's Assistant Administrator, officiated at the ceremony.

RITI, funded by USAID, dot-GOV, and dot-ORG, will address the major barriers facing information and communication technology (ICT) expansion in Romania. dot-GOV is working with RITI to address policy and regulatory reform and dot-ORG is focusing on expanding access to ICTs and using e-commerce and e-governance to facilitate economic and social growth throughout the country.

Romania, with its vibrant private sector, increasing demand for information technology, and strong human and organizational capital, is in a good position to take advantage of ICT for development objectives. RITI, a three-year, $4.5 million dollar activity, has been developed to support and further this growth, and to ensure that the benefits are shared throughout the country and society.

Also attending the RITI official launch were Ms. Adriana Ticau, State Secretary for Information Technology, MCIT; Mr. Denny Robertson, Mission Director, USAID/Romania; Mrs. Corina Mararu, Deputy Director of the Office of Economic Growth, USAID/Romania; Mr. Brian Bacon, dot-ORG Manager, USAID/Washington; Mr. Rolf Jerker Torngren, RITI-Policy: dot-GOV Chief of Party, Internews Network; and Dr. Dennis Foote, dot-ORG Program Director, Academy for Educational Development (AED).

RITI-Policy: dot-GOV
The RITI-Policy project began May 21, 2002, and focuses on creating a regulatory atmosphere to foster the development and growth of telecommunication services in the country, including universal access by the entire Romanian population. Internews Network is working with the newly created National Regulatory Authority for Communications (ANRC) to build its capacity to provide universal service, liberalize the telecommunications sector, and privatize the current monopoly provider, thus ensuring that disadvantaged groups, including women, have access to affordable telecommunications.

RITI is also assisting MCIT with the transfer of various regulatory functions to the ANRC. This project follows a World Bank initiative, which drafted the primary legislation for a telecommunications regulatory agency.

RITI-policy is led by Mr. Jerker Torngren, who has long-term experience with telecommunications regulatory issues in Europe.

The current work-plan for July-December 2002 includes:
  • Drafting the initial rules for the Regulator including rules on transparency and registration.
  • Recruitment of staff for the ANRC.
  • Drafting the ANRC Annual Work Plan 2003.
  • Drafting of the general authorization.
  • Identification of universal service obligations.
  • Creating a system for funding of universal service obligations.
  • A study tour to the US for several members of the ANRC.
  • A series of training workshops for the ANRC.

The RITI team has already completed a draft organizational structure of the ANRC and is working on job descriptions for staff. Additionally, discussions have begun with private sector groups and Internet Service Providers to ensure their issues are understood so that an open, competitive telecommunications sector is fostered.

Five ANRC members will participate in October in a U.S. Telecommunications Training Institute (USTTI) US based study tour. Following this tour, specialized workshops on telecommunications regulatory principles and organization, competition, competitive safeguards, anti-fraud, network protection, universal service, interconnection, licensing, spectrum management, digital signatures, and protected access will be provided by leading consulting experts.

The RITI-Policy Project began on May 21st and will run three years (Associate Cooperative Agreement No. 186-A-00-02-00101-00 under the dot-GOV Leader Award No. GDG-A-00-01-00009-00).

For more information, please contact:
Rolf Jerker Torngren, Chief of Party, RITI-Policy
Tel: +40 21 323 46 13, Mobile: +40 72 31 31 086

Sarah Tisch, dot-GOV Program Director, Internews Network
Tel: +1 202 833-5740

RITI-Access: dot-ORG
The just signed RITI-Access component of the Initiative is being led by the Academy for Educational Development (AED) under dot-ORG. It has the overarching goal of implementing effective applications in e-governance and e-commerce to increase transparency, efficiency, and constituency responsiveness, and to expand equitable public access to ICT resources, especially for under-served communities.

Activities include:
  • Support to entrepreneurs to develop economically viable telecenters.
  • Partnership with local NGOs to expand their usage of ICT.
  • Technical assistance to local governments to develop appropriate online service delivery.
  • Creation of electronic commerce applications for small and medium enterprises.
  • Integration of relevant ICT into currently existing development programs.
The RITI-Access Project began in August 2002 and runs three years (Associate Cooperative Agreement No. 186-A-00-02-00104-00 under the dot-ORG Leader Award No. GDG-A-00-01-00014-00).

For more information please contact:
Brendan Gannon, Chief of Party, RITI-Access

Michael Tetelman, Senior Program Officer, dot-ORG
Tel: +1 202 884-8856

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