The project will build awareness and lay the foundation for ICT regulators in these countries to incentivise flexible spectrum frameworks.
The UK Government’s Digital Access Programme and Dynamic Spectrum Alliance are working together to promote digital inclusion across Brazil, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
By encouraging a new spectrum mindset the DSA and DAP aim to catalyse affordable internet connectivity in underserved regions to support the inclusive growth of the digital ecosystem.
Martha Suarez, DSA President, said: “We are delighted to partner with the UK Digital Access Programme to help accelerate digital inclusivity in five countries worldwide. Leveraging our networks and spectrum-sharing initiatives, more stakeholders will be able to access spectrum under fair conditions increasing healthy competition, affordable services and enhanced broadband access for all.”
The Digital Access Programme designed and funded by the UKs Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in collaboration with the Digital, Culture, Media & Sports Department (DCMS), is developing local capacity for inclusive connectivity in partner countries by enabling a pivotal change in the conversation about spectrum management. In partnering with the DSA, the DAP is benefitting from DSAs expertise on dynamic spectrum access. The project will leverage the respective networks of stakeholder relationships focused on the shared goal of inclusive connectivity.
The DAP has been working since 2018 to support enabling reforms and the technical capacity of telecom regulators for digital inclusion in partner countries, besides helping local innovators to demonstrate scalable and sustainable technology and business models for affordable connectivity. The DAP also works on developing digital skills and enhancing the availability of locally-relevant digital content and services for underserved communities.
Suarez added: “Digital inclusion barriers also extend to lack of access to devices, digital literacy and skills and relevant content and services. However, for many communities, connectivity and access to the Internet still remain the fundamental hurdle, either because of lack of coverage or because the existing solutions are too expensive. Every moment they remain unconnected, the digital divide grows bigger. This project will help increase spectrum availability for affordable connectivity for those that are still underserved or unserved. No one should be left behind in a digital world.”
The project will build awareness and lay the foundation for ICT regulators in these countries to incentivise more innovative and flexible spectrum frameworks. It will create an opportunity for cooperation between different public and private stakeholders to build capacity with regulators and spectrum authorities, explore innovative technologies for large-scale affordable connectivity and share best practices.
Suarez concluded: “Despite all the known benefits of spectrum sharing, there is still poor adoption of dynamic spectrum access technologies in regulatory frameworks. There is a great opportunity in these countries to work with regulators, government authorities and other stakeholders to increase their awareness and knowledge about existing dynamic spectrum access mechanisms. We are excited to see the benefit that this will have on improving digital inclusion and the local economy.”