Initiatives to Expand Telecommunications/ICT in Rural, Unserved or Underserved Areas

  • 2 September 2021

The CITEL administrations that wish to develop projects or initiatives for the expansion of Telecommunications/ICTs in rural, unserved or underserved areas, observing the regulatory provisions applicable in each country, consider the following initiatives: 

1. Promoting the use of universal service funds or assistance funds for connectivity projects aimed at remote or underserved rural areas and ensuring they have the facilities that would make it possible for them to gain access to all kinds of operators. 

2. Fostering and supporting the implementation of business models that motivate the entry of new economic agents and promote their financial sustainability. 

3. Encouraging the discussion, in the region’s countries, of the analysis of fiscal measures to favor connectivity. 

4. Rural connectivity policies should give priority to technologies and projects that show sustainability, efficiency, and rapid implementation in rural areas. 

5. Boosting public and private investment, as well as public-private ventures, partnerships, and the sharing of infrastructure in rural areas. 

6. Promoting local innovation ecosystems, as well as strategies for ownership of technology in rural areas. 

7. Providing incentives for the participation of small and community operators in providing services to unserved areas, through specific licensing measures, access to key infrastructure, and social coverage promotion programs. 

8. Promoting cooperation and dismantling barriers to the deployment of infrastructure between central and local government to resolve the issues of permits and rights of way. 

9. Promoting the drafting of Guides on Best Practices for the deployment of infrastructure, as well as the standardization of local requirements and regulations.  

10. Periodically examining the regulation applicable to rural connectivity in order to respond quickly to the specific demands and needs of connectivity in rural areas. 

11. Adapting minimum standards of service quality, speed, and continuity of service in rural communities. 

12. Promoting specific incentives for rural areas (investment, rates, contributions, etc.). 

13. Continually measuring the progress of projects in order to foster connectivity, publishing their reports systematically and continually, measuring their impact, and adopting necessary corrective measures, if any. 

14. Fostering the development of a connectivity mapping system that identifies the places where there is installed infrastructure and connectivity. 

15. Creating a regulatory environment that fosters innovation and investment for technological development, analyzing all the technological offers for connectivity in accordance with the needs of each country. 

16. Analyzing the relevance of allowing operators to allocate partially or totally the due contribution amount to access and universal services funds for rural connectivity projects defined by connectivity policies in accordance with the needs of each country. 

17. Considering the possibility, if the policies and laws of the country allow it, for enterprises that have deployed connectivity in rural areas to be exempted from the mandatory contribution to the universal access and service fund. 

18. Consider incentives for suitable use of the radioelectric spectrum to expand the coverage of affordable, quality Telecommunication/ICT services, implementing flexible regulatory frameworks that facilitate access to service and the use of radioelectric spectrum, in order to encourage investment in these areas and promote compliance with service coverage obligations. 

19. Consider alternative, innovative models for assignments, licensing and payment for the use of radioelectric spectrum that aim to facilitate the expansion of coverage. 

20. Consider policies to promote targeted investments aimed at satellite, and terrestrial solutions including, aeronautical and stratospheric platforms, among others that could provide Telecommunication/ICT services in the short term. 

21. Consider implementing new technologies and techniques for dynamic management of licensed and license-exempt radioelectric spectrum to enable its flexible or shared use.

Resolution AG/RES. 2966 (LI-O/21)