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Asian Development Bank International Telecommunication Union Project on Rural ICT Policy Advocacy, Knowledge Sharing, and Capacity Building Findings and Policy Principles June 2011. DNTA. ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles. Contents of Presentation. 1. Headlines

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Asian Development BankInternational Telecommunication Union

Project on Rural ICT Policy Advocacy, Knowledge Sharing, and Capacity Building

Findings and Policy Principles

June 2011

DNTA

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

Contents of Presentation

1. Headlines

2. Rural ICT Status, Trends

3. Elements of Rural ICT Development Strategy

4. Policy, Institutional, and Regulatory Framework

5. Rural ICT Market and Access Initiatives

6. Government Networks and Programs

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

Headlines

ICT Revolution Expanding

throughout Rural Asia

Market Forces Penetrating Deep into Remote Regions

Coordinated Policy Initiatives Reinforce Gains, Yielding Sustainable ICT Deployments

Innovative Mechanisms Channel Vital Resources to Market Frontier

Partnerships Proposed to Explore Further Advances

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Regional Project: Findings and Policy Principles

Economic growth from ICT adoption

Figure shows the percentage point increase in economic growth per 10-percentage-point increase in telecommunications density, by type of service and by high and low/middle income countries.

The economic growth benefit increases from fixed to mobile to broadband and it is greater for developing countries than for high income countries.

Source: World Bank

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

Contents of Presentation

  • 1. Headlines
  • 2. Rural ICT Status, Trends
    • 2.1 Path and status of rural ICT development regionally
  • 3. Elements of Rural ICT Development Strategy
  • 4. Policy, Institutional, and Regulatory Framework
  • 5. Rural ICT Market and Access Initiatives
  • 6. Government Networks and Programs

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Regional Project: Findings and Policy Principles

Path and status of rural ICT development

There are close correlations between ICT development, such as density levels, and factors of national income and the levels of rural vs. urban population.

Traditionally, telecommunications and information technologies have been too costly to deliver to lower income and rural areas.

However, lower costs, market trends and policies are driving ICT growth well beyond urban centers, as evidence by the leap in total density (fixed+mobile) from 2004 (red) to 2009 (blue). This trend will continue into the future….

Source: ITU and World, based on Author’s calculations

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

Contents of Presentation

  • 1. Headlines
  • 2. Rural ICT Status, Trends
  • 3. Elements of Rural ICT Development Strategy
    • 3.1 Key Components of Rural ICT Ecosystem
    • 3.2 Stakeholder Roles
    • 3.3 Summary Rural ICT Development Strategy Matrix
  • 4. Policy, Institutional, and Regulatory Framework
  • 5. Rural ICT Market and Access Initiatives
  • 6. Government Networks and Programs

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

3.1 Key Components of Rural ICT Ecosystem

  • Backbone network infrastructure
    • fiber, satellite, towers, microwave; international cable links
  • Backbone extension to rural hubs
    • extending of backbone to key rural points of presence
  • Local access network and connectivity
    • cellular + fixed local networks; WiMax; cable TV, broadcast
  • Retail ICT services
    • telephone and Internet services providers, TV/radio stations
  • Public access ICT facilities
    • telecenters, Internet cafés, libraries, public offices
  • ICT devices, applications, content:
    • end-user equipment (PCs, handheld, etc.), as well as functions, applications, and information content
  • Human resources

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

3.2 Stakeholder Roles

  • Government ICT Policy and Regulation:
    • Ministry of Communications and/or ICT Agency
    • Regulatory Authority
    • Local Government Units
  • Private Sector Enterprises:
    • National Operators and Suppliers
    • Local Entrepreneurs
  • Public Financing:
    • Public-Private Partnerships
    • Universal Service/Access Funds
  • E-Government and Ministry Programs:
    • National E-Government Networks, Services
    • E-Education, E-Health, E-Agriculture, etc.
  • Donors, NGOs, Regional Institutions:
    • Fostering partnerships and stakeholder coordination
    • Human Resource capacity building
    • Rural ICT applications and content development
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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

3.3 Rural ICT Development Strategy

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

Contents of Presentation

  • 1. Headlines
  • 2. Rural ICT Status, Trends
  • 3. Elements of Rural ICT Development Strategy
  • 4. Policy, Institutional, and Regulatory Framework
    • 4.1 Policy Foundations
    • 4.2 Government Institutional Structure
    • 4.3 Enabling and Regulating Market Growth
  • 5. Rural ICT Market and Access Initiatives
  • 6. Government Networks and Programs

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

4 Policy, Institutional, and Regulatory Framework

  • 4.1 Policy Foundations
  • High-Level Policy Mandates
  • Effective ICT development policies should be coordinated and guided by a clear mandate from the highest levels of Government:
    • Prime Minister edicts
    • Enabling legislation
    • Integration of ICT policy into National Development Strategy
    • Market Orientation, Competition
  • An open, market-oriented regime will generate extensive investment in rural ICTs. Policy principles should include:
    • Competitive entry at both infrastructure and service levels
    • Technological neutrality in licensing / unified licenses
    • Spectrum allocation to encourage rural wireless networks
    • Opportunities for smaller, rural enterprises

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

4 Policy, Institutional, and Regulatory Framework

  • 4.1 Policy Foundations (cont.)
  • Other Policy Elements
  • Policies relating to other areas of law and governance can also have important effects on ICT markets, and should be considered accordingly:
    • Tax rates for communications and technology firms
    • Import tariffs and restrictions or barriers to importing equipment
    • Foreign direct investment limitations or impediments
    • Policies to develop other infrastructure (roads, electricity, financial services)
    • Coordination of Policy Implementation
  • It is critical to coordinate the various elements of ICT development policy, to ensure that all stakeholders are pursuing consistent, inter-related actions:
    • Regulatory licensing and spectrum allocation
    • Operators’ network investments and service activation
    • US/UA Fund projects, including public access and network support funding
    • E-Government services and applications, including e-Education, e-Health
    • Local community initiatives and local government policies
    • Capacity building, training, and awareness programs

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

4 Policy, Institutional, and Regulatory Framework

4.1 Policy Foundations (cont.)

Country Case Example: Malaysia

Malaysia has developed comprehensive national ICT development strategies, which involve close cooperation among stakeholders, under the general direction of the Economic Policy Unit of the Prime Minister’s Office.

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

4 Policy, Institutional, and Regulatory Framework

  • 4.2 Government Institutional Structure
  • ICT Agency
  • Many countries have an agency with responsible for technical planning, implementation, and oversight of ICT sector development. Where established, the main objective should be to ensure advanced expertise in technology fields and to help coordinate efforts of multiple stakeholders. Key functions include:
    • ICT sector analysis, macro-planning
    • Organization and coordination among stakeholders
    • Software and application planning, development, procurement
    • Ministry of Communication
  • The official, Cabinet-level Ministry responsible for Communications Policy. Most appropriate role is to set goals, determine resource allocation, work with Government to define ICT development strategy. Key functions include:
    • Review and propose national policy principles, in consultation with Cabinet, Legislature, Regulatory Authority, private sector
    • Direct or indirect oversight of state-owned telecom enterprises, if any
    • Liaison and cooperation with international bodies and institutions

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

4 Policy, Institutional, and Regulatory Framework

  • 4.2 Government Institutional Structure (cont.)
  • Communications Regulatory Authority
  • In most countries, an autonomous regulatory body is responsible for establishing and managing competitive markets, with particular focus on enabling investment in rural networks and services at affordable prices. Key functions include:
    • Licensing, spectrum allocation
    • Regulating competitive activity, interconnection, fairness
    • Tariff oversight, consumer protection
    • Other Ministries and Agencies
  • Many other Ministries and agencies play important roles in rural ICT development. These should be included in policy planning and coordinated implementation:
    • Ministries of Education, Health, Agriculture, and others that provide direct services to citizens, and can utilize ICT networks
    • Ministries of Local or Regional Development, Commerce, Culture, which can utilize and promote ICTs to achieve their missions
    • Donor institutions and Non-Government Organizations involved with rural development, education, health, poverty reduction, etc.

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

4 Policy, Institutional, and Regulatory Framework

  • 4.2 Government Institutional Structure (cont.)
  • Local Governments
  • Local governments at the district, province, or municipal level can help or impede ICT development in their areas. They should be included in policy planning, and encouraged to adopt ICT-enabling practices. Key functions include:
    • Permits and fees for telecom infrastructure rights-of-way
    • Local taxation
    • Local government e-services and facilities
    • Participation in and contribution to community access projects

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

4 Policy, Institutional, and Regulatory Framework

  • 4.2 Government Institutional Structure (cont.)
  • Country Case Example: Korea
  • The ICT institutional structure in Korea is among the most complex in the world:
    • Presidential Council on Information Society (“CIS”). The CIS was established as the highest administrator and arbitrator of information policies, with representation from the private and public sectors (www.cis.go.kr).
    • Ministry of Public Administration & Security (“MOPAS”). Central government ministry that performs informatization functions such as management of policies, developing a e-government, etc. (www.mopas.go.kr)
    • Ministry of Knowledge Economy (“MKE”). Central government ministry that manages ICT policies including e-Commerce expansion, industrial informatization, exploring and fostering new industries, etc. (www.mke.go.kr)
    • Korea Communications Commission (“KCC”). National regulatory authority that promotes and regulates broadcasting, telecommunications, and Internet and their convergence (www.kcc.go.kr)
    • National Information Society Agency (“NIA”). Agency for national informatization that supports policy development, creation of a sound information culture and closing of digital divide. (www.nia.or.kr)
    • Korea Information Society Development Institute (“KISDI”). Government-affiliated research institute with the aim of developing communications by building infrastructure and IT industry. (www.kisdi.re.kr)
    • Korea Internet & Security Agency (“KISA”). Agency specialized in Internet service promotion, address resource management, electronic signature, information system evaluation, etc. (www.kisa.or.kr)
    • National Information Technology Industry Promotion Agency (‘NIPA”). Responsible for the promotion of the ICT industry, fostering/developing of e-commerce and e-learning industry, etc. (www.nipa.or.kr)
    • Korea Creative Content Agency (“KOCCA”). Promotes content industry. (www.kocca.or.kr)

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

4 Policy, Institutional, and Regulatory Framework

  • 4.3 Enabling and Regulating Competitive Market Growth
  • Market Entry: Licensing and Spectrum
  • The regimes that have most successfully promoted investment in rural ICTs have created open opportunities and incentives for new entrants by making licenses and wireless spectrum available to a wide array of competitors. Factors include:
    • Opening spectrum in rural areas to new and innovative uses by regional entrepreneurs as well as national operators (e.g., WiMax, low power, etc.)
    • Streamlining licensing requirements and encouraging multiple competitors to enter national and regional markets with minimal restrictions
    • Allowing Unified Licenses and technology neutral options to deploy infrastructure and services
    • Market Expansion: Investment Incentives
  • To encourage further investment and expansion into rural areas, regulators can help provide incentives to save costs, reduce risks. Options include:
    • Infrastructure sharing rules (e.g., towers, poles, dark fiber)
    • Reduced or waived fees, taxes
    • Reduced or eliminated barriers and fees for local rights of way, construction

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

4 Policy, Institutional, and Regulatory Framework

  • 4.3 Enabling and Regulating Competitive Market Growth (cont.)
  • Market Efficiency: Competition Regulation
  • To ensure effective and fair competition, regulators must establish clear rules on non-discrimination, treatment of dominant operators, and consumer protection. Key elements include:
    • Oversight of interconnection agreements and wholesale pricing terms among competing network operators to ensure cost-oriented, equitable charges
    • Monitoring of competitive market conditions, and prevention of anti-competitive behavior or abuse of dominant market positions
    • Consumer advocacy and protection standards, including rules regarding fair marketing practices, pricing practices, and quality of service obligations
  • Note: There may be situations where certain competition rules may be adjusted to encourage investment and services in underserved rural areas.

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

4 Policy, Institutional, and Regulatory Framework

  • 4.3 Enabling and Regulating Competitive Market Growth (cont.)
  • Country Case Example: Cambodia
  • Cambodia implemented an open entry licensing regime, leading to 9 active competitors in mobileservices, and dramatic growth in recent years.

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

Contents of Presentation

  • 1. Headlines
  • 2. Rural ICT Status, Trends
  • 3. Elements of Rural ICT Development Strategy
  • 4. Policy, Institutional, and Regulatory Framework
  • 5. Rural ICT Market and Access Initiatives
    • 5.1 Market-Driven Development
    • 5.2 Public-Private Partnerships
    • 5.3 Universal Service/Access Funds
    • 5.4 Public Access ICT Facilities and Services
    • 5.5 Demand-Side Support and Stimulation
  • 6. Government Networks and Programs

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

5 Rural ICT Market and Access Initiatives

  • 5.1 Market-Driven Development
  • Market and Technology Trends
  • Technology and market trends are rapidly improving the market potential for broadband ICT networks and services, even among remote populations:
    • Increases in capacity and efficiency of wireless (fixed and mobile) technologies, including 3G, LTE, WiMax, WiFi, etc.
    • More cost-effective backhaul solutions via IP switching, fiber, VSAT.
    • Expansion of mobile broadband services, devices, and applications, and widespread use of “dongles” for fixed PC/laptop access.
    • Introduction of Micro/Pico Telephone Operations: allowing for small, localized services within remote villages at scalable costs.
    • New decentralized cell network architectures, allowing cost reductions and localized network management and control.

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

5 Rural ICT Market and Access Initiatives

  • 5.1 Market-Driven Development (cont.)
    • Sustainable Business Models
  • The main challenge of rural ICT-based business is to achieve sustainable results in the long-run. Many viable business models are emerging:
    • Pre-paid mobile phone services are available to an increasing proportion of rural users for very low entry prices, yielding significant marginal profits
    • Commercial Internet cafés, provide public ICT access and services profitably
    • ICT-enabled financial services are forming important new business opportunities in rural communities:
      • Mobile m-bankingservices
      • Local e-commerce web sites
      • ICT-reinforced overseas remittances
  • Identifying Gaps
  • ICT development policies that emphasize market-driven development should identify “true access gaps” where market conditions inhibit viable business models.
    • This type of Gap Analysis approach is the most broadly accepted basis for developing effective, targeted support programs.
    • Enterprises should support gap analysis by reporting costs, market conditions

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

5 Rural ICT Market and Access Initiatives

  • 5.2 Public-Private Partnerships
  • Approaches to PPPs for Rural ICT Development
  • Partnerships between Government and private sector investors to develop rural ICTs can help bring needed resources to fill access gaps. Such partnerships can take many different forms, but should emphasize private market orientation:
    • Co-financing or joint investment, wherein government directly provides a portion of a project’s up-front capital costs.
    • Infusion of stimulus capital into the sector through private companies, ideally through a competitive bidding process, to help accelerate market growth.
    • Government loan guarantees, or other financial instruments designed to reduce the cost of capital for major investments.
    • Government procurement of ICT goods and services for internal public service networks and e-Government programs.
    • Telecommunications licensing agreements, for spectrum or other authorizations, which include mandatory commitments by licensees.
    • Targeted tax reductions or abatements for companies in exchange for agreements to invest tax savings in rural networks, services, and equipment.

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

5 Rural ICT Market and Access Initiatives

  • 5.3 Universal Service/Access Funds
  • Fund Objectives, Principles
  • Universal Service/Access Funds can be an effective and vital mechanism to channel sector resources toward closing ICT access gaps in rural areas. The objectives and principles adopted by the most effective Funds include:
    • Focus on efficiently allocating sector resources toward expanding access to ICTs for uneconomic, underserved areas and populations
    • Avoid displacing or distorting market forces
    • Open, transparent procedures, accountability
    • Achieve sustainable, beneficial outcomes for rural communities
    • Collecting Funds
  • Most US/UA Funds collect a levy from ICT sector company revenues, while others include general Government funds. Principles to follow should include:
    • The Fund should only collect a level of funds that it can reasonably manage and disburse within a near-term time horizon
    • Contribution obligations should be equitable among all sector competitors
    • Collection amounts should be transparent, public, and subject to audit

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

5 Rural ICT Market and Access Initiatives

  • 5.3 Universal Service/Access Funds (cont.)
  • Fund Supported Projects
  • USAF supported projects should:
    • Be clearly defined through a public, transparent process that identifies gaps and needs for ICT services
    • Allow for innovative and advanced ICT networks and services, rather than merely basic telephony, on a technology-neutral basis
    • Aim to achieve clearly defined targets, within realistic timelines
    • Competitive Bidding, Award, Disbursement
  • Although different models have been used for awarding USAF subsidy funds to qualified projects, an open, competitive approach is most widely endorsed:
    • Any qualified service provider can bid for designated projects, based on a “reverse-subsidy,” whereby the lowest subsidy request wins
    • Bidders must meet all technical and financial requirements to qualify
    • Funds are typically disbursed over time, based upon the contractor meeting defined milestones

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

5 Rural ICT Market and Access Initiatives

  • 5.4 Public Access ICT Facilities and Services
  • Community Telecenter Programs
  • Public community telecenters (CICs, CeCs, etc.) represent an important resource for providing ICT access to many rural citizens. Telecenter programs in different countries have had differing levels of success. Among the most effective features:
    • Management and operation should be community-based, including locally recruited personnel and oversight, and integrated with local affairs
    • General policies, resources, and programs should be relatively standardized across national telecenter networks, with input and feedback from local users
    • National programs can be organized under different Ministries or agencies, depending on budget, personnel, and resource availability
    • Telecenters should highlight computer and Internet training and use, as well as access to e-Government services, education, and general rural knowledge
    • Programs should support local content development, such as e-commerce web sites of rural products and services, tourism, etc.
  • Note: Financial sustainability of public telecenters is a critical challenge. Some public support may be justified, similar to public libraries, post offices, and community centers, but ultimately local resources should finance operations.

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

5 Rural ICT Market and Access Initiatives

  • 5.4 Public Access ICT Facilities and Services (cont.)
    • Commercial Internet Cafés
  • Experience demonstrates that private, commercial Internet Cafés can co-exist with public telecenters, where each serves a different purpose. Public access programs should allow and encourage both, where possible.
    • I-Cafés focus on maximizing traffic and usage (revenues), and thus allow more unrestricted activities: especially on-line games, social networking, etc.
    • Telecenter and i-Café facilities and services can be combined in one location, with different rules and restrictions applied to different locations or times
  • Other Public Access Options
  • A variety of other rural public access ICT facilities, services, and resources are available in different countries. These include:
    • Post Offices
    • Public Libraries
    • Religious and cultural facilities
    • Local radio and TV broadcasting stations

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

5 Rural ICT Market and Access Initiatives

  • 5.5 Demand-Side Support and Stimulation
  • Affordability Initiatives
  • Even where access and services are available, ICTs may not be affordable to many low income rural users. Targeted initiatives to provide subsidies and discounts can help stimulate demand and grow the market. Options include:
    • Discounted subscription pricing for designated low-income groups, based on criteria such as average local incomes or other government assistance
    • Subsidies for service prices throughout key rural areas
    • Special low-use tariffs, including free local calling in rural villages
    • End-User Equipment and Devices
  • Some countries have introduced programs to support purchase of computers and other ICT devices by low income, rural residents. These can be difficult to implement fairly and without distorting the market. Options include:
    • School-based student PC discounts
    • PC purchase subsidies for home Internet/broadband subscribers
    • Development of specialized low-cost devices
    • Corporate, donor, and NGO programs to distribute free or low price devices

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

5 Rural ICT Market and Access Initiatives

  • 5.5 Demand-Side Support and Stimulation (cont.)
  • Content and Applications for Rural Users
  • Programs that help develop useful and interesting ICT content and applications of relevance to rural users are a vital factor in stimulating demand and generating long lasting benefits of ICTs. Effective content-related practices include:
    • National and regional web sites and information sources designed in local languages and providing timely, updated material on local matters
    • Training and assistance programs within public Telecenters, to help local users develop content, including e-commerce and marketing of products and services
    • National and international programs to encourage creative content development by students, community groups, entrepreneurs
    • Local broadcasting programs, sharing information and entertainment created by and for rural communities
    • Social networking sites and applications, which allow users to upload their own content and shares knowledge and experiences

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

Contents of Presentation

  • 1. Headlines
  • 2. Rural ICT Status, Trends
  • 3. Elements of Rural ICT Development Strategy
  • 4. Policy, Institutional, and Regulatory Framework
  • 5. Rural ICT Market and Access Initiatives
  • 6. Government Networks and Programs
    • 6.1 E-Government Networks, Services
    • 6.2 Rural E-Education Networks, Programs
    • 6.3 Capacity Building and Public Awareness
    • 6.4 Rural E-Health Initiatives
    • 6.5 Rural E-Agriculture Programs

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

6 Government Networks and Programs

  • 6.1 E-Government Networks, Services
  • E-Government Network Deployment, Management
  • E-Government programs can contribute substantially to rural ICT infrastructure, services, content, and awareness. Coordination of e-Government networks and programs with policy, regulatory, and market initiatives is one of the most critical features of a broad national ICT development strategy. Key principles include:
    • Network planning and service procurement should be centralized within the ICT Agency, Communications Ministry, or other high-level organization
    • Network implementation should be integrated across government agencies and regions, and closely aligned with rural ICT initiatives
    • Private operators should construct and operate e-govt networks and deliver services to public agencies, encouraging efficient deployment of resources
    • Role of local governments: automating public records and procedures, purchasing services, supporting information portals, public access points
    • Services and applications should be developed on common platforms, housed in national data centers, and delivered via Web and public telecenters
    • Public awareness and capacity building should be an integral part of e-Government programs, particularly for rural citizens

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

6 Government Networks and Programs

  • 6.2 Rural E-Education Networks, Programs
  • School ICT Network and Facility Deployment
  • National SchoolNet projects represent some of the most ambitious and successful ICT deployment programs in many countries. Key features include:
    • Deployment of broadband access connections to all schools nationwide, through contracts with national telecom operators, coordinated with othere-Government and rural ICT development projects
    • Installation of computer and Internet laboratories in schools, with greater resources at higher grade levels
    • Schools should be linked together via the network, allowing for distance learning, coordination of records and curriculum, and social networking
    • Budgets typically come from Ministry of Education, national budget, or USF
    • ICT Education Curriculum
  • Development and distribution of digital electronic curriculum, as well as training of teachers in the application of ICTs in the classroom, is a critical requirement.
    • Curriculum should be stored and distributed through central data portals, with teachers and students able to access and upload content

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

6 Government Networks and Programs

  • 6.2 Rural E-Education Networks, Programs (cont.)
  • Non-Traditional Education via ICT
  • Public access ICTs can be utilized to help deliver remedial education services to students outside of traditional school systems.
    • Telecenter-based education programs, facilitated by qualified teachers, can be an effective means to reach students who have dropped out of public schools, as well as adult workers, homemakers, and others
    • Curriculum should be consistent with public school standards, but allow for flexible participation, taking account of students’ financial and life status
  • Public ICT Training, Awareness
  • Programs to raise public awareness of the opportunities and benefits of ICTs can be especially important in rural communities. These should be provided by both educational and public access facilities and personnel. Options include:
    • Public ICT training courses, available through schools and telecenters
    • Public relations initiatives, especially when new facilities are installed programs for officials, businesses, citizens.
    • Sponsorship and cooperation with commercial service providers

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

6 Government Networks and Programs

6.2 Rural E-Education Networks, Programs

Country Case Example: Malaysia

Malaysia’s SchoolNet is operated by Telekom Malaysia’s Government IT Network subsidiary, connecting schools nationwide via different technology solutions.

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

6 Government Networks and Programs

  • 6.3 Rural E-Health Initiatives
  • Approaches to Rural E-Health Programs
  • Deployment of ICT resources to improve delivery of rural health services is becoming a central feature of many social development policies. Key features of the various innovative and effective rural e-health programs include:
    • Extending broadband telecom networks to rural health clinics, doctors, and treatment centers, ideally via the integrated national e-Government network
    • Providing advanced mobile devices, PCs, and customized tablets with specialized e-health applications to all medical professionals in rural areas
    • Developing links and relationships between rural care providers and urban hospitals and doctors, to allow remote consultations, diagnostics, treatment advice, through both real-time and off-line connections
    • Integrating rural patient records into national health care databases
    • Tracking and monitoring of disease outbreaks through real-time information sharing networks, including mobile phone sms-based systems

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

6 Government Networks and Programs

6.3 Rural E-Health Initiatives

Country Case Example: Cambodia

The E-Health programs of NGO InSTEDD, especially its GeoChat service, allow real-time sharing of critical health and disease data among health care professionals from remote areas throughout the country, via a combination of cell phone sms and web platforms.

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

6 Government Networks and Programs

  • 6.4 Rural E-Agriculture Programs
  • Approaches to Rural E-Agriculture Programs
  • Applications utilizing ICTs to support rural farmers, fishermen, and other agriculture users are still relatively new in most countries. Promising practices focus on providing access to market information and innovative techniques
    • Combining ICT facilities such as farmer-oriented telecenters together with human support and advisors helps ensure more effective use of ICTs
    • Peer-to-peer market information networks utilizing sms and radio transmission cost-effectively reach the most remote and low-income users
    • Agriculture web sites and databases can be effectively integrated with other e-Government and public information resources

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ADB/ITU Rural ICT Study: Findings, Policy Principles

6 Government Networks and Programs

6.4 Rural E-Agriculture Programs (cont.)

Country Case Example: Philippines

A range of initiatives have been introduced in the Philippines on e-Agriculture, with goals of promoting faster access to information on agricultural and farming technologies through online and offline media. They include the Farmers’ Information Technology System (FITS), which manages FITS public access centers in several provinces, as well as the Open Academy for Philippine Agriculture (OPAPA), and the K-AGRINET knowledge network partnership.

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