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Bridging the Broadband Divide: Strategies for the CSME Professor Heather E. Hudson Director Telecommunications Management and Policy Program University.

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Presentation on theme: "Bridging the Broadband Divide: Strategies for the CSME Professor Heather E. Hudson Director Telecommunications Management and Policy Program University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bridging the Broadband Divide: Strategies for the CSME Professor Heather E. Hudson Director Telecommunications Management and Policy Program University of San Francisco

2 “L’information est la clé de toutes les portes…” (Information is the key to all doors) …woman using an African telecentre

3 The Information Connection:   Benefits of ICTs Efficiency:   Saving time and money Effectiveness   Improving quality of services Equity   Urban and rural; rich and poor; minorities; disabled Reach   New markets, new audiences, new sources of supplies

4 CSME: Caricom Single Market and Economy   Currently 13 members   Total population about 6 million   Main pillars of CSME:   Free movement of capital   Free movement of goods, services and people within the CSME   Establishment of common trade and economic policy   Harmonization of economic, fiscal and monetary policies   Common currency

5 ITU’s Digital Access Index (DAI)

6 Internet Users per 100 Population

7 Internet Access Price as Percentage of GNI per capita


9 International Internet Bandwidth

10 STM-1 Price Trends 2002-2003 Notes: 1)Prices are median monthly lease excluding installation fees; 2) STM-1= 51.8 Mbps / 672 voice circuits Source: Telegeography

11 CSME: Mobile Subscribers

12 Mobile Sector Structure: Low and Lower Middle Income Countries

13 Mobile subs vs.GDP per capita: Mobile sector structure in Low and Lower Middle Income Countries: CompetitiveMonopoly

14 Lessons from the Wireless Explosion   Competition is key Lower prices Innovative strategies: e.g. prepaid, commodity prices   Demand may be much greater than assumed Farther down the economic pyramid   Old Distinctions no longer Relevant Fixed vs. mobile:   Cellphones as first and only phones   Portable public phones: e.g. Bangladesh, Philippines   Wireless fixed public phones: e.g. South Africa What is E-mail?   SMS (short message service): Poor person’s (everyone’s?) e-mail? Voice vs. data   What is voice? (Some countries still have monopolies on fixed “voice”)   Bits are bits VoIP Telephony

15 Getting to Broadband: Eliminating Bottlenecks   Community access models   Schools, libraries, post offices   Resale: Internet shops, telecentres   Legalizing Bypass VSAT networks direct to end users   Businesses, schools, telecentres, etc. Fixed wireless WiFi (802.11) for local access   “hot spots” to cover villages, neighborhoods IP Telephony   Inexpensive voice-over-data networks   Reducing local barriers etc. e.g. permits for rights of way Local fees and taxes, duties

16 Policies for Extending Access…   Subsidies must be targeted High cost areas Specific user groups   Schools, libraries, health centers, etc. Incentive-based subsidies   Subsidies for users, not carriers/operators e.g Broadband vouchers U.S. E-rate: subsidy for schools, libraries, rural health centers

17 Incentive-Based Subsidies: The U.S. E-Rate Program...   Set the bar higher From basic telephony to “advanced services”   Use community access model for Internet access Discounted Internet access for schools, libraries, rural health facilities Goal: Access to the classroom, not just the schoolhouse door or the principal’s office   Includes funding for school LANs   Collected from carriers: surcharge on phone bill   Service may be provided by any telecom provider   Subsidy initially approved for school or library, not carrier Requests for service are posted on website for competitive bid

18 Using Subsidies to Empower Users: The U.S. E-Rate Program (cont’d)   Opportunity for competitive bids   Subsidies to end user (school/library) rather than directly to carrier   Suppliers bid to provide service on website   Result should be: Empowerment of schools, libraries Better pricing than through direct subsidies New entrants to provide services Other models typically subsidize carrier directly or require carrier to provide discounted service as term of license For more information, see

19 Broadband in Rural Alaska   Internet access in more than 200 villages All schools have Internet access; most have broadband Use E-rate support: most qualify for 90% discount   Some telcos have helped schools apply for E-rate   win-win for schools and phone companies   Schools and libraries can serve as “anchor tenants” to attract service providers   Wireless Internet access for villages WiFi used to extend community access to the Internet (e.g. from schools or libraries)

20 Alaskan children access the Internet in village schools.

21 Telemedicine in Alaska Today: The AFHCAN Project   Alaska Federal Health Care Access Network (AFHCAN) Telemedicine for all federally funded health care facilities in Alaska 235 sites; 37 member organizations   Village clinics   Public Health clinics   Regional hospitals   Military installations, Coast Guard, Veterans Administration Covers more than 212,000 beneficiaries   About 40% of Alaska population   Majority are in Alaska native villages

22 Telemedicine facilities for consultation between Alaskan regional hospital and village clinics...

23 AFHCAN Telemedicine Facilities and Users

24 Lessons: Applications   Telemedicine does not require a lot of bandwidth or expensive equipment   Distance education does not necessarily require production of original programming   E-governance: Access can enable rural citizens to participate in government and policy making:   The Internet can provide a global presence for small and traditional businesses

25 Lessons from Alaska: Policy   Competition can reduce prices for telecom services even in remote areas   Targeted subsidies can have a significant impact in extending access in remote areas   BUT general subsidies to local monopolies may hinder innovation and create barriers to entry

26 Getting to Broadband: Strategies for Regulators   Facilitate Allow competition wherever feasible Allow use of new technologies   E.g. WiFi, VOIP for cheap Internet access and telephony Do not mandate unnecessary stumbling blocks   Be Flexible One size may not fit all Waivers   Listen to the users (or would-be users)   Collaborate Other regulatory authorities   Competition, trade, local governments e.g. duties on equipment

27 Strategies: Public/Private Partnerships   Infrastructure E.g. government to use commercial (public) networks, not build own networks   Government as anchor tenant   May drive demand for new services   Economic Development Strategies to encourage investment in target regions   Incentives to operators   Applications Target sectors such as education, health care, government public services Build on demand from other services   Audio/video downloads   Lotteries   Gaming

28 Increasing Access: Planning Strategies   Separate the goals from the means e.g. access goals, not technology solutions E.g. don’t focus on wire or wireless technology but on cost-effective solutions to provide access   Involve users in planning Community groups, NGOs, SMEs, etc.   Include training technical and business skills SMEs, NGOs, disadvantaged, etc.   Start with “thirsty horses” Prioritize based on interest, commitment, rather than only political level or population

29 Technology is the Easy Part... "We have now reached the stage when virtually anything we want to do in the field of communications is possible. The constraints are no longer technical, but economic, legal, or political." -- Arthur C. Clarke

30 Thank you. For more information:

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