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ICT

Improved mobile and broadband access is one of the most fundamental enablers of private sector growth and job creation today, especially in emerging markets. It creates business opportunities and has a profound impact on the lives of those it reaches, quickly increasing the inclusion of people once cut off from economic growth.

Reforms in information and communications technology (ICT) have happened fast.  New mobile technology has filled gaps in countries where there was no service at all. Elsewhere, people would have gone through a more traditional rollout of fixed network and then mobile. Today, we’re in the midst of the next wave of ICT expansion: broadband.  The challenges are more complex for broadband that they were for mobile.  Broadband requires significant capital investment, uncertain payback periods and collaboration between countries and often with other utilities.

Public-private partnerships (PPPs) are well placed to manage these sorts of complex interfaces and provide a framework for the apportioning of risk between the public and private sector. PPPs in ICT fall into two general categories, broadband and e-government, both of which will be explored within this section. 

 

Sub-sectors

  • Broadband

    Most countries in the world understand that broadband Internet is critical to becoming a knowledge-based economy, central to fostering substantial economic development and job creation, and strategic to the goals of reducing poverty and boosting shared prosperity. However, making broadband Internet ubiquitous and affordable remains a challenge.

    In the global race for increased broadband penetration, public-private partnerships (PPPs) are an ever more useful instrument for implementing fiber...

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  • E-Government

    E-government is the use of information and communications technologies by governments to enhance the range and quality of information and services provided to citizens, businesses, civil society organizations, and other government agencies in an efficient and cost-effective manner, making government processes more transparent and accountable and ultimately strengthening democracy.

    E-government projects are natural candidates for PPPs and in most countries, the rationale to undertake...

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Issues

  • Regulatory framework

    During the operation phase, the project will need the support of a regulatory system sufficiently stable to protect the integrity of the project and yet flexible enough to offer a reasonable commercial approach to the operation of the facility....

    During the operation phase, the project will need the support of a regulatory system sufficiently stable to protect the integrity of the project and yet flexible enough to offer a reasonable commercial approach to the operation of the facility. Because the ICT industry is a dynamic growth sector, it may be difficult for national legislation or even regulatory authorities to keep pace.

    Ideally, the legislative framework should provide for an independent regulatory body with a mandate to develop a commercial, competitive system and with the power to set standards and enforce them. This system should preferably be implemented before the signing of any commercial arrangements and financing. The project company will look to be protected from the risk of changes in regulatory requirements, or actions inconsistent with the expectations of the parties as set out under the concession agreement.

  • Market risk

    The market risk associated with telecommunications projects is more difficult to manage than that of power projects or even transportation projects. It generally relies on services provided to a number of individual consumers, with demand...

    The market risk associated with telecommunications projects is more difficult to manage than that of power projects or even transportation projects. It generally relies on services provided to a number of individual consumers, with demand subject to changes in a very competitive market. The competitive nature of the telecommunications market makes it generally impossible for the lenders to obtain the revenue certainty required in other projects.

    Some methods of ensuring a revenue flow may include intervention by the government to purchase unused capacity for its own or others’ use, or making an agreement with a particular user, such as a corporate subscriber, for the commitment of a substantial portion of the available capacity.

  • New and evolving technology

    Technology in the ICT sector is rapidly changing. With this in mind, a PPP project must consider how it will manage upgrades of technology and to what extent the project company will have the discretion in how and when it implements...

    Technology in the ICT sector is rapidly changing. With this in mind, a PPP project must consider how it will manage upgrades of technology and to what extent the project company will have the discretion in how and when it implements upgrades.

    Intellectual property rights will also play an important role in ICT projects. The project itself must benefit from all associated intellectual property rights in order to avoid any interruption in service provision. Where royalty payments must be made for any intellectual property rights and those payments increase significantly or the relevant rights are no longer available, the project itself may cease to be commercially viable.

    As new technology is implemented, the specification for the project will change. Interfaces between different technologies and the need for a flexible platform for the implementation of such new technology will be essential to the ongoing viability of the project. Unlike most other infrastructure projects, a telecommunications project will not be governed by the same specification over its life. Rather, the specification will evolve as the technology changes and it is essential that then necessary flexibility be considered at the beginning of the project.  

Resources

    • 2012
    • European Investment Bank (EIB)

    Broadband – Delivering Next Generation Access through PPP

    Access to the Internet at increasingly higher connection speeds, is assuming a key role in guaranteeing both economic prosperity as well as social cohesion. The European Commission (“EC”) has therefore set out an ambitious programme for increasing the accessibility of Internet provision in Europe under its Next Generation Access (“NGA”), a programme with ambitious roll-out targets that include improving download speeds so that all European Union (EU) citizens will have Internet access at 30 Megabits per second (“Mbps”) by the year 2020 and that 50% of households will have the ability to access the Internet at speeds of 100 Mbps or more. EPEC has worked with the European Investment Bank (EIB), and EC member states to investigate when and...

    • 2012

    Developing successful Public-Private Partnerships to foster investment in universal broadband networks

    The purpose of this report is to highlight the best practices used by public-private partnership (PPP) projects - whether they have been used to provide broadband access nationally, regionally, or in rural areas - to improve broadband access to unserved and underserved locations. The report is based on 13 PPP broadband projects that have been researched. It takes a broad definition of what PPP means and includes any project where there is a mix of private- and public-sector involvement. The report does not intend to focus on the approach followed by any single PPP broadband project, or to promote any one project, but to provide an overall view of the best practices implemented.   

    • 2013

    ICT Toolkit Legal and Institutional Framework

    The convergence of telecommunications, broadcasting, and information technology is blurring previously distinct disciplines and technologies, requiring regulatory reform for the information and communication sector. This Module provides resources on various regulatory approaches for regulators, policymakers, and practitioners within the current ICT environment.   Table of Contents 6  1 Introduction 2 Why Regulate? 3 Legal Context of Regulatory Reform 4 Impact of Convergence 5 Elements for an Effective Regulator 6 Organizational and Institutional Approaches To Regulation 7 Functional Aspects of Regulation    

    • 2011
    • World Bank Group (WBG)

    Public-Private Partnership in Telecommunications Infrastructure Projects

    Case of the Republic of Congo

    This paper delineates the role of government in Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) in the telecommunication sector in the Republic of the Congo. PPPs offer policy makers an opportunity to improve the delivery of services and the management of facilities, and help to mobilize private capital which in turn speeds up the delivery of public infrastructure. Along with power and transportation infrastructure projects, telecommunication figures among the most growing area in PPP projects in Africa. Nevertheless, fitting telecommunication projects into a PPP model is challenging. In order to address these challenges, this paper also summarizes the achievements in Congo's economic infrastructure sector, the risks allocated to the implementation...

    • 2006
    • International Telecommunications Union, World Bank Group (WBG)

    ICT Regulation Toolkit

    The ICT Regulation Toolkit is a live resource for policy-makers, regulators, the telecom industry, and consumers. It provides a global overview of how telecom policy is best implemented with practical materials highlighting experience and results.

    • 2014
    • World Bank Group (WBG), International Finance Corporation (IFC)

    Handshake Issue #15: Connectivity

    Handshake's issue 15 focuses on connectivity or the physical networks that allow people to communicate as well as the ability to interact with another person or the services one receives from an institution or organization. Public-private partnerships in information and communication technology can help create those connections and most importantly connect the still unconnected. Throughout the issue, we see how transformative ICT has been in the developed world and also acknowledge how far there is to go until everyone is given the same digital resources. We hear first-hand from the head of Facebook's internet.org initiative, which aims to bring free internet access to the base of the pyramid. Other articles and interviews show how...

For legal and regulatory resources go toPPPIRC

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