Digital Regulation Platform
Cross-border collaboration in the digital environment

Cross-border collaboration in the digital environment

The digital environment is global in nature. For example, Internet users in most jurisdictions can typically view websites and content from anywhere in the world, subject to copyright or other limitations. Global e-commerce enables buyers in one country to purchase goods and services from sellers in another country. With online communications, people can video conference, call, and message for free or at relatively low cost, regardless of location or borders. Billions of these transactions occur daily, involving every sector. This, in turn, raise issues for governments in terms of how to address a host of cross-border issues, including data privacy…

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Mitigation phase: infrastructure duplication, resource sharing, and regulatory forbearance

Infrastructure duplication Making networks resilient calls for the elimination of single points of failure, especially for backbone cables and critical equipment such as authentication servers (ITU 2014). Costs can be reduced by ensuring that competing operators have their own separately routed and equipped networks but agree that after a disaster they will make their networks available to each other. Such arrangements need care, both because they could weaken competition and because routes that are disjointed in one layer of a network could well be sharing a lower layer. However, having separately routed networks is not enough: there should actually be…

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Preparedness phase: community outreach

Community outreach Operators can be expected to tell their customers about their own products, but not necessarily about communications more generally. Information needs to be repeated for each generation. For instance, at the time of the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, 21 per cent of the public in Japan did not know about the phone and Internet message boards (for sharing knowledge of casualties) and 91 per cent had not used them, though they had existed for about twenty years (ITU 2013). The regulator should require that operators inform not just their employees but also their customers about the telecommunications plan…

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Recovery phase: infrastructure reconstruction

Infrastructure reconstruction Reconstruction of the telecommunications infrastructure should follow soon after the disaster, and should consider rebuilding more resilient telecommunication/ICT network infrastructure and include potential redundant network deployments wherever possible to prepare for future disasters. Government and the private sector should also take advantage of the opportunity to rebuild relevant telecommunication/ICT infrastructure, and where possible, to deploy technologies that are more resilient, efficient, and less expensive (ITU 2020). For post-disaster needs assessments, there is a guide oriented to costing replacements for damaged telecommunications equipment and infrastructure (PDNA 2014). Also, reconstruction might present many opportunities for improvement. For instance: Weaknesses exposed…

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Recovery phase: communication evolution

Public Protection and Disaster Relief Telecommunication/ICT used in responses to disasters depends heavily on wireless technologies. It is therefore related closely to Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR), which has been defined to combine both, Public Protection (PP) radiocommunication used when dealing with maintenance of law and order, protection of life and property, and emergency situations; and Disaster Relief (DR) radiocommunication used when dealing with a serious disruption in the functioning of society, posing a significant, widespread threat to human life, health, property, or the environment (ITU 2017). In the past, PPDR has been implemented using special-purpose networks and terminals,…

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Preparedness phase: hazard monitoring

Monitoring environmental conditions using specialized equipment has long been a necessary part of preparedness. Equipment has been falling in cost and rising in capability. There are now many cheap and portable sensors and actuators available in Internet of Things (IoT) devices that can be powered using solar panels or long-life batteries and that can communicate over long-range wireless networks. They are well suited to risky and remote locations. Even if they do not individually provide information of the same quality and quantity as more expensive equipment, they can compensate by being installed in bulk and communicating their information to systems…

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Chile’s Telecommunications Development Fund: monitoring and evaluation

Payment milestones linked to project progress UA policy and project monitoring is a key policy element that can and should be fundamental to any program that disburses public funds for the development of telecommunications services. In Chile, the Telecommunications Development Fund (FDT) is governed by a regulation that explicitly requires government certification of project completion before subsidy funds can be released. The FDT regulation notes that, in order for a UASF subsidy to be paid, the concessionaire, permit holder or licensee must present the certificate granted by the Undersecretariat of Telecommunications (SUBTEL) certifying that the work has been correctly executed…

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Indonesia’s Universal Service Obligation Fund

Introduction One of the main challenges to developing ICT Infrastructure in Indonesia is its geography. This includes the number of islands, size of the territory to cover, the numerous remote and difficult to reach areas, and the number of low-income and uneducated inhabitants (GSMA 2013: 151). Owing to the limited funding capability of both the government and the private sector, infrastructure development cannot fully meet the demand in Indonesia. Thus, isolated and impoverished parts of the country are the most harmed (GSMA 2013: 151). Structure According to Telecommunications Law No. 36 of 1999, “every telecommunications network operator and/or telecommunications service…

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Policies to promote inclusion

Cross-sectoral policies: digital skills and literacy Universal access (UA) policies have evolved to extend beyond the information and communications technology (ICT) sector itself, more broadly including cross-sectoral approaches that can leverage ICT benefits across multiple economic segments. The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development (the Broadband Commission) highlights the idea of “meaningful universal connectivity,” encompassing broadband adoption that is “not just available, accessible, relevant and affordable, but that is also safe, trusted, empowering users and leading to positive impact” (Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development 2019: ix). The ideas of empowering users and leading to positive impact are arguably the ultimate goals…

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Monitoring and evaluation of universal access impact

A key consideration for the design and implementation of policies aimed at promoting access for all is ensuring ongoing monitoring and evaluation of whether a policy or individual project is meeting its intended goals. This consideration of accountability should be a foundational design component of universal access (UA) approaches, and relies both on clear, measurable objectives and on the ability to measure progress against them. In a sense, this equates UA policies and plans with many other government policies or programmes, for which policy-makers need to design and implement mechanisms for monitoring effects. In addition to transparently disbursing funds in…

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