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Challenges in Sustaining Municipal Broadband Networks in the Developing World
KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Communication: Services and Infrastucture (Closed 20120101), Telecommunication Systems Laboratory, TSLab (closed 2012-01-01).
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM).
KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Communication: Services and Infrastucture (Closed 20120101), Telecommunication Systems Laboratory, TSLab (closed 2012-01-01).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9626-1496
2011 (English)In: E-TECHNOLOGIES AND NETWORKS FOR DEVELOPMENT, Verlag Berlin Heidelberg: Springer , 2011, Vol. 171, 26-40 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Municipal or community networks seem to be a constructivefirst step in the process of establishing sustainable broadband networksin areas where the demand for broadband communication services islarger than the supply. Besides meeting the acute demand, one purposeis to stimulate the market by demonstrating connectivity feasibility, toreduce the risks involved for commercial actors. One of the keys to thesustainability and scalability of such networks is a well designed andmanaged institutional framework based on the local prerequisites.In this paper, we report on our experience from the establishment ofthe Serengeti Broadband Network in Northern Tanzania. We have beenusing a public-private partnership approach to create a not-for-profitorganization to manage and operate a network first deployed as a researchand education effort. We present and discuss our approach, comparingand contrasting to other approaches found in the literature. We concludethat success requires local ownership. Thus, the institutional frameworkshould aim at creating local commitment and leadership.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Verlag Berlin Heidelberg: Springer , 2011. Vol. 171, 26-40 p.
Series
Communications in Computer and Information Science, ISSN 1865-0929 ; 171
Keyword [en]
community networks, developing world, management, operational sustainability, ownership, public-private-partnerships.
National Category
Telecommunications
Research subject
SRA - ICT
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-48399DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-22729-5_3ISI: 000296263100003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-80051567449OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-48399DiVA: diva2:457515
Conference
1st International Conference on e-Technologies and Networks for Development (ICeND 2011) Location: Inst Finance Management, Dar-es-Salam, TANZANIA
Note

QC 20111121

Available from: 2011-11-18 Created: 2011-11-18 Last updated: 2016-05-02Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Towards Sustainable Broadband Communication in Under-served Areas: A Case Study from Tanzania
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards Sustainable Broadband Communication in Under-served Areas: A Case Study from Tanzania
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The problem discussed in this thesis is how to establish sustainable broadband markets in under-served areas. The purpose is to improve people’s living conditions by promoting efficient service delivery in education, health, and governance and alleviating poverty. Due to the high-perceived risks, the market forces have failed to bring ICT in these areas. The business community is reluctant to take on the supplier role.

Earlier efforts through development partners have been focusing on connecting under-served areas to the global Internet via telecentres. However, most implementations could not operate beyond the initial funding for various reasons, especially the lack of understanding of the local needs where most technical solutions were imported from the developed world, not optimized to work under local conditions.

We propose the creation of community or municipal owned “broadband islands”, defined as high speed communication broadband networks that do not depend on external connections for their operations. Using an Action Research participatory approach, we are emphasizing multi-stakeholder partnerships, and engaging the local community to contribute infrastructure, technical solutions and leadership. Our proposal is validated through the design and deployment of two pilot sites in rural areas of Tanzania. Our original contributions include 1) An overall model on how to establish and sustain broadband markets in under-served areas, making it scalable and reproducible. 2) technical innovations, especially the design and implementation of a low cost, low power-consuming, and robust router with integrated power management. 3) Organizational innovations by establishing institutional mechanisms at a local level in public-private-community partnership. 4) Innovative funding mechanisms by identifying partners who can pay on behalf of the end users and cut down costs through resource sharing schemes.

The government of Tanzania has shown interest to use the pilot sites as models for extending the national backbone into other municipal. Also, discussions are underway to organize similar pilots in East Africa.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2011. xiv, 49 p.
Series
Trita-ICT-ECS AVH, ISSN 1653-6363 ; 11:11
National Category
Telecommunications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-49085 (URN)978-91-7501-154-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-12-09, Sal/Hall E, KTH-Forum, Isafjordsgatan 39, Kista, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20111125Available from: 2011-11-25 Created: 2011-11-25 Last updated: 2011-11-25Bibliographically approved

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