Coordinating universal service

Universal access and service funds have had a major impact on school connectivity in some countries, but there is a tendency to believe that they are the only thing needed to achieve Internet access in schools. Some education ministries consider school connectivity an issue for the telecommunication sector to solve. This can be problematic, however, because it can divert attention away from sustainability, as well as from efforts to incorporate connectivity into the curriculum and to ensure that teachers and students are trained to use online resources.

Also, most universal access and service funds are targeted at rural or remote areas and, therefore, will not resolve the lack of connectivity in underserved urban areas. So there should be close coordination between the ministry of education and the ICT ministry and regulatory agency, in order to ensure that universal service funds and obligations are formulated within a plan for school connectivity that concretely describes the roles of all parties and which also enables budgetary funding from the ministry of education to be allocated for school connectivity. In addition, there should be a way to address the needs of schools that will not be connected with universal service funding.

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