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Contributions: Mr

Created On Friday, 18 September 2015 14:13

Contribution

  • Title
    Mr
  • First Name
    Zakir
  • Last Name
    Syed
  • Professional Affiliation
    ICANN Fellow
  • Stakeholder Group
    Civil Society

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

  • How would you define the issue “Connecting the Next Billion”?
    I believe, Connecting the Next Billion" mean overcoming the digital divide word over not just in terms of the availability of the infrastructure and access but in terms of the ICT skill and knowledge too. Infrastructure, proliferation of broadband, digitization, and ICT education are thus the major areas, that comes to my mind when we speak of "Connecting the Next Billion".
  • Have you observed any regional or national specificities regarding connectivity (e.g. Internet industry development)?
    Initiatives like the Universal Services Obligation/Funds have been there in different countries to aid into the process of overcoming the digital divide.

    More recently, the notion of a more regulatory initiative that is "infrastructure sharing" has gained attention in many countries and governments are increasingly being trying to introduce it.

    From the industry standpoint, projects like Google Loons for internet, Facebook's Drones/Satellite for internet, and the allocation of digital dividend/TV white spaces have been there to increase connectivity to some extent.
  • Do you know of existing policy measures, and private sector or civil society initiatives addressing connectivity? If yes, was the policy a government policy, industry policy (either collective best practice or corporate policy), technical policy, or did i
    Policy & regulation by governments include but are not limited to:

    1. Universal Services Funds
    2. Infrastructure Sharing
    3. Local Loop Unbundling
    4. Allocation of Digital Dividend for Broadband Access
    5. Spectrum Allocation for 3G/4G technologies

    Also, initiatives by the private sector such as:

    1. Reduced rates and subscription charges
    2. Zero rating
    3. Free (limited) access etc
  • In your opinion, what worked well in the development of the policy, and what impediments were encountered?
    I think policy development in most of the cases has been done quite smoothly but the challenges have been faced when implementing these policies in an effective way. So yes, effectively implementation of the policies out there have been the major impediment i believe.
  • What was the experience with implementation?
    There have been challenges in implementation as I said above.
    There needs to be proper SOPs and deadlines and then an effective monitoring and evaluation system.
  • Did you experience any unintended consequences of policy developments/interventions, good and bad?
    I think there is enough room for improvement when it comes to policy implementation given the fact that convergence in ICT is on the move.
  • Can you think of unresolved issues where further multistakeholder cooperation is needed?
    I believe, the industry stakeholders need to continue to uphold their collaboration and corroboration with each other on policy issues including spectrum harmonization on a global scale, governmental subsidies, technology standardization, universal services obligations etc.
  • Did you gain any insight as a result of the experience?
    Yes. The is a need for standardization and harmonization on multiple fronts when it comes to 'connecting the next billion' and this has to be rightly addressed to be able to effectively overcome this issue.
  • List proposed steps for further multistakeholder dialogue/actions.
    All the stakeholders needs to come up with a sustainable business model that is win-win for all of them and ultimately leads to an effective solution to the menace of digital divide.