With its strategic geographic position in the Indo-Pacific region, the small island nation Timor-Leste is primed for international investment and growth. Catalyzing such growth opportunities requires the presence of a strong Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. ICTs serve as essential accelerators for economic and social development, specifically equipping Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) with the ability to thrive and participate in not just the local, but also the global economy. Yet, the absence of ICT-related laws and policies in Timor-Leste inhibited private sector investment from international and local stakeholders who seek the confidence of a regulatory environment consistent with international best practices. Without a strong policy and legal framework, Timor-Leste lacked the foundation for a thriving digital ecosystem.

Recognizing these connectivity challenges, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) deployed Digital Frontiers’ Advancing Timor-Leste's Autonomous Telecommunications Landscape (ATLATL) activity. Funded under the Digital Connectivity and Cybersecurity Partnership (DCCP) and managed by USAID’s implementing partner DAI, ATLATL works towards achieving two objectives: 1) convene sector stakeholders to inform national policies and regulations for the ICT sector while transferring the skills and knowledge for the Timorese government to adopt and implement critical policies and regulations; and 2) engage the private sector in a manner that will catalyze investment for improving essential infrastructure, products, and services and to help foster inclusive economic growth within an improved enabling environment.