DTPS AND TELECOMS INDUSTRY REACH COMPROMISE OVER NATIONAL INTEGRATED ICT WHITE PAPER
The Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services (DTPS), Siyabonga Cwele, has announced a compromise regarding the implementation of the National Integrated ICT Policy White Paper, published in the Government Gazette on 3 October 2016. The ICT White Paper, not only set aside all unassigned spectrum for a single national wholesale network, it contains wording that suggests the government wants to take back the spectrum networks are currently using.
Having hosted several industry meetings to unpack implementation of the ICT White Paper, Minister Cwele informed Parliament on 23 May 2017 that DTPS had reached a compromise with the various stakeholders in the industry.
He provided assurances that the government would defer taking back the spectrum licences of mobile operators until the end of the current licence period, 2028. This is on condition that operators commit to buy at least 30% of the government’s wireless open access network (WOAN) capacity to ensure its viability.
RESEARCH ON INTERNET ACCESS AND USE IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH
Research ICT Africa (RIA) will continue their valuable ICT Household Surveys in 2017. RIA, a non-profit think tank, focused on building evidence for ICT policy and regulation, have resumed their Household and Individual ICT Access and Use survey in 2017 after an interruption in their funding. This round includes nine African countries – Kenya, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa and Lesotho.
The surveys are part of a global initiative on producing much needed quality data on ICT access and use in the global south. RIA will also co-ordinate the surveys with their sister networks LIRNEasia in four Asian countries (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Cambodia) and DIRSI in five Latin American (Peru, Guatemala, Colombia, Argentina and Chile).