ANNEX 2.5.2 Legal and Regulatory Framework
In order to meet the NSCP targets, some changes to the legal, regulatory and policy framework may be required. These may include:
Revision of the legal and regulatory framework to incorporate convergence and facilitate more efficient regulation of a liberalized market-place. These revisions, in turn, may include:
- Definition of flexible spectrum mechanisms and policies
- Revision of the licensing framework and fees
- Elimination of value-added taxes on Internet services provided to schools;
- Development of regulatory measures promoting the introduction of ICT in education, including national research and education networks;
- Further development of the access and interconnection regulatory framework and consideration of additional regulatory tools to promote effective competition, including open-access measures, collocation and infrastructure-sharing measures, number portability, etc.
- The development of a national broadband policy and strategy, including the definitions of key concepts such as “connectivity” and to review the definition of “broadband” on a national basis. The plan to consider how to continue using market reforms and liberalization as tools to encourage broadband deployment and to ensure appropriate application of broadband technologies;
The development of a universal access and service strategy, and integration of school connectivity into universal service plans and financing mechanisms. This may involve:
- The Development of a Rural Connectivity Strategy to set out the manner in which the government will address the lack of access to ICTs in rural areas, as well as the integration of ICT into education and the creation of appropriate local content to avoid any in-country digital divide.
- The definition of Universal Service Obligations, which require operators to provide Internet service to schools at no cost, or at preferential rates;
- The definition of universal service financing methods, including those needed for school connectivity. Financing may be achieved through subsidies or school voucher programmes or by financing equipment and connectivity through a universal service fund;
- The introduction, through regulation or law, of an “e-rate” to assist all government and non-government primary and secondary schools in covering the ongoing usage charges for Internet access, as well as the initial connection charges;
- The development of legislation to ensure that cyber-crime, cyber-security, data protection and protection of minors are properly addressed; and
- The development of an e-waste programme to address environmental impacts of ICTs at schools.