ICT Universal Service Obligation: access for rural communities

Themes: Capacity Development | Economic Growth | Private Sector Development | Social Development

Guinness Gallagher's ICT policy and operational experts developed public policy options and potential working models for Universal Services Obligations in ICT and in particular the long term economic, social and environmental sustainability of providing high speed broadband ICT access to poorly served rural communities.

The project examined the feasibility of the New Zealand government using its state-owned terrestrial television network operator to provide high-speed broadband ICT access to rural communities, benchmarking their economic efficiency and effectiveness by requiring the SOE to participate in a competitive tender process with other potential private sector providers.

Our ICT policy and operational experts were joined by our specialized remote and rural community social and cultural advisers to examine partnership arrangements with both private sector providers and keystone clients, such as schools and community-based facilities to jointly service low density rural areas, resulting in the SOE winning 50 percent of the tenders for government users in rural areas (such as schools and police stations) against other private sector operators.

The themes and sectors covered by this project were as follows: -

Theme Sub-Theme
Capacity Development - Client relations, network and partnership development
  - Organizational development
Economic Growth - Developing rural areas
  - Knowledge, science and technological capacities
  - Promoting economic efficiency and enabling business environment
  - Widening access to markets and economic activities
Private Sector Development - Private sector investment
  - Public Private Partnerships
Social Development - Indigenous people
Sector Sub-Sector
Agriculture, natural resources, rural development - Agriculture policy, institutional and capacity development
Finance - Financial sector development
  - Inclusive finance
  - Infrastructure finance and investment funds
Industry and Trade - Small and medium enterprise development
Information and Communication Technology - ICT industries and ICT-enabled services
  - ICT infrastructure
  - ICT strategy and policy, and capacity development