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ITRealms : The Executive Governor of Enugu State, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has declared that his administration has done well in infrastru...

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Sunday, June 19, 2016

USF has huge potential to solve connectivity – Survey

The latest survey findings have revealed that the Universal Service Fund (USF) has a huge potential to solving connectivity and service delivery issues in rural environments, reports ITRealms.

The survey key findings made available to ITRealms by the Managing Director, World Telecom Labs (WTL), Mr. Leigh Smith, indicated that an estimated 96 per cent of respondents see USF as offering huge potential to solve connectivity and service delivery issues in rural environments.
While 86 per cent of respondents including operators, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and government agencies, all expressed an interest in delivering connectivity to unconnected areas with a feeling strongly that a combination of all three is required in order to unlock investment.
ITRealms gathered that this implies that connecting the unconnected requires a coalition – a collaborative approach between all relevant stakeholders, including vendors who could offer technology to deliver the connectivity required.
However, the main obstacles blocking the building of networks using USF funds, the survey identified, were excessive bureaucracy and inflexibility of USF rules, just as concerns were raised about the sustainability of rural investments.

In addition, many respondents, ITRealms reports were unfamiliar with the handful of companies including WTL which provide equipment specifically designed to build commercially viable networks in rural villages. 


“People were very open and eager to share their experiences and opinions – and most were extremely positive about the economic benefits of providing voice and data to areas which are still unconnected. Connecting the unconnected continues to be a hot topic with companies such as Facebook and Google investing heavily in their own initiatives. At WTL we will continue to develop our portfolio of award-winning equipment to help operators, ISPs and NGOs build sustainable rural networks,” he said.

WTL has built a number of networks in rural Africa partly financed by USF and has seen for itself the immense benefits USF can bring, irrespective of its challenges. In particular, the deployment of WTL’s Vivada (Village Voice and Data) system in rural Tanzania is an example of a strong and productive use of USF funds.

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