Lefaoali’i Unutoa is the Regulator of Samoa for Telecommunications, Broadcasting, Electricity and Postal. She joined the Office of the Regulator in 2009 as the Manager for Spectrum Management and Technical Services before her appointment as the Regulator in October 2015. Lefaoali’i is the first Samoan to be appointed at this role succeeding two overseas based Regulators.
She has 15 years working experience as a technical/engineer for various sectors including Broadcasting, ICT, Telecommunications Sector and Breweries. She was instrumental in helping established OOTR Regulatory Framework through Telecom Reform programmes. Lefaoali’i also involved in empowering females in Samoa to take up ICT as a Career by initiating the celebration of Girls in ICT in Samoa. Lefaoali'i is the Vice Chairman of the Pacific Islands Regulators Resource Centre (PIRRC) Steering Committee and the Co Vice Chairman of the APT’s Policy and Regulations Forum for the Pacific.
Lefaoali’i is an Engineer by profession and she holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics) from RMIT University, Melbourne Australia and a Masters of Engineering (Engineering Management) from the University of Southern Queensland, Brisbane Australia.
The Regulator's responsibilities, functions are set out in Section 7 of the Broadcasting Act 2010, Section 6 of the Electricity Act 2010, Section 8 of the Telecommunications Act 2005 and Section 23 of the Postal Act 2010. The Regulator’s responsibilities, functions and powers are carried out with the view of implementing the following objectives:
· Facilitating the development for the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors
· Promoting universal access to telecommunications and Broadcasting services at affordable prices;
· Promoting efficient and reliable provision of telecommunications and broadcasting services;
· Promoting the introduction of advanced and innovative ICT and broadcasting technology;
· Encouraging and promoting local production and broadcasting of public service programs;
· Encouraging sustainable investment in the telecommunications sector;
· Establishing a framework for controlling anti-competitive conduct in the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors;
· Promoting efficient interconnection arrangements;
· Protecting the interests of consumers of the telecommunications and Broadcasting Services.
· Defining and clarifying the institutional framework for policy development for regulation of the telecommunications sector;
· Promoting efficient management and use of radio spectrum for both telecommunications and broadcasting;
· Establishing a fair, objective and transparent licencing regime;
· Establishing an efficient approval regime for telecommunications equipment;
· Establishing measures to enforce the implementation of the Act and to prohibit certain types of conduct contrary to the orderly development and regulation of the telecommunications sector;
· Establishing an effective legal and regulatory framework to ensure that the postal industry operates in a competitive, accessible, efficient and affordable environment for the people of Samoa;
· Separating governance and operational responsibilities in the electricity sector;
· Promoting economy, efficiency, reliability and affordability of electricity provided by service licensees;
· Promoting efficient use of electricity by consumers;
· Promoting competition in the generation of electricity;
· Promoting the use of new technology by service licensees to generate, transmit or supply electricity;
· Creating a financially sound electricity sector capable of meeting the needs of consumers and the Samoan economy;
· Assuring protection of consumers, responsiveness to public concerns and effective dispute resolution in the electricity sector;
· Assuring the safeguard of the environment
· Promoting the prevailing national energy policies; and
· Promoting the prevailing national policies on combating climate change.....