Establishment of sustainable broadband markets in rural areas


The purpose of the ICT for Rural Development (ICT4RD) programme is to design and validate a strategy for how to establish sustainable broadband markets in rural Tanzania and to propose a national connectivity programme based on this strategy.

Approach

To facilitate public investments in infrastructure, the focus of the project is on business development in basic public services, such as education, health, local government and support to rural entrepreneurs. To design business models for sustainable operation of the infrastructure and services, every stone is turned to find users that can benefit from the services and are able to pay for them.

The project is implemented as a set of pilot sites, testing different infrastructures and different business models for operating the networks and providing the services in a sustainable way. The project is using existing infrastructures (optic fibre, wireless, microwave links etc) wherever possible to avoid costs of constructing new ones.

To accomplish capacity building, the bulk of the work in the project is done by stakeholder’s employees and other qualified Tanzanians in the framework of problem-oriented, project-driven courses and thesis projects in PhD and Master programmes offered in cooperation between Dar es Salaam Intsitute of Technology (DIT) and Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). This approach combines individual learning towards degrees, organisational learning towards certification of institutional skills and consortial learning deepening the understanding of communication markets and the roles of different actors.

 

This is one of the fiber access points along the fiber deployed on top of the right pole in the power line between Bunda and Mugumu in the Bunda and Serengeti districts in northern Tanzania. The left pole has a wireless access point on top and an Ethernet switch and power backup in the lower boxes. The Gigabit Ethernet backbone, the fiber access points and access networks to district council offices, health centers and secondary schools were designed and deployed in CSD projects in 2006 and spring 2007. During this fall, the focus is on applications and usage in education and healthcare.

Goals

  1. To design an approach to ICT-based rural development to be the basis for a development program with sub goals and draft workplans for 1,2,3 ,5 and 10 years.
  2. To establish one pilot site per year to test technical solutions and business models
  3. To identify end-users needs and ability to pay for their services
  4. To propose and test methods that can be scaled up on a national level