In order to meet the objectives set by
the WSIS Geneva plan of action including those in the Millennium
development goals for improving connectivity and access in the
use of ICT to be achieved by 2015 for all on this planet, the
challenge of infrastructure development in the rural and remote
areas of developing1 countries,
where more than half of the world population are dwelling, is an
essential foundation for providing valuable ICT applications
outlined in C7 of Tunis agenda for quality of life of residents
in the marginalized, harsh climate and difficult geographical
The rapid migration of population of
developing countries to urban areas may cause the adverse effect
to the poverty alleviation unless measures are taken to improve
the environment of the life in rural and remote areas possibly
by deploying telecommunications/ICT for these areas.
The important aspect related to
installation of cost effective and sustainable basic telecom
infrastructure in rural and remote areas needs further studies
and specific outcome needs to be available for the vendor
community to develop a suitable solution to meet the challenges
in the rural and remote areas.
The existing network systems are most
of the time primarily defined for urban areas where necessary
support infrastructure (adequate power, building/shelter,
accessibility, skilled manpower to operate etc.) for setting up
a telecommunication network is assumed to exist. Hence the
current systems need to meet more adequately the rural specific
requirements in order to be mass deployed.
Some of the known challenges that
developing countries planning to spread ICT to rural and
isolated areas must be tackled are the following ones:
1) Shortage of power
2) Expense of maintaining
power backup usually diesel and environmental hazards
3) Difficult terrain
4) Difficult access and
5) Lack of skilled manpower
6) Installation and
maintenance of networks is quite challenging and
7) Very high operating cost
8) Low potential ARPU
9) Sparsely populated and
scattered population cluster.
More detailed study on challenges of
deploying cost effective and sustainable ICT infrastructure in
rural and remote areas is expected to be taken up within ITU-D
study group taking into account the global perspective.
Therefore, "Connect villages with
telecommunications/ICT and establish community access points"
should be promoted more intensively by emerging broadband
technologies for various e-application services to vitalize the
social and economic activities of rural and remote areas.
Multipurpose community telecasters (MET), public call office
(PICO), community access centres (CAC), e-posts are still valid
for cost effectiveness for sharing infrastructure and facilities
by the community residents leading to the goal of provision of
individual telecommunication access.
Therefore, it is proposed to deal with
the challenges and system requirements of fixed and mobile
networks for rural deployments in developing nations.
Decisions that may drive first the
examination and then the choice of particular techniques and
solutions for the provision of multimedia telecommunications/IT
services may be influenced by, inter alia, the following:
a) Increasing availability of
telecommunications/ITS that provide enhanced broadband
connectivity at progressively lower costs, lower energy
consumption and lower greenhouse gas emissions.
b) Experience gained since the
previous study cycles of WTDC in many parts of the world
in developing, implementing and refining major rural
telecommunication programmes, as more countries respond
to particular situations and in-country demand using
"best practices" as outlined in the work of ITU-D.
c) The influence of cultural,
social and other factors in producing differing and
often creative responses to meeting the demand for
multimedia services from residents of rural and remote
areas of developing and least developed countries.
d) Progress being steadily
made on human resource development/management issues
which are fundamental to establishing sustainable
2 Question for study
There are a variety of several (new
and old) issues that members will be interested in addressing
within the four coming years of this Question. It is proposed
that the main new key issue for study is the range and scope of
techniques and solutions that are expected to play a significant
role in the provision of e-application services for rural and
remote areas. It is further proposed that the study should
progress in stages to cover a four-year cycle in the following
Step 1 – to continue identification of the full
range of potential techniques and solutions that can
significantly impact on the provision of
telecommunication/ICT applications in rural and
remote areas, with emphasis on those that employ the
latest broadband technologies designed to lower
infrastructure capital and operating costs,
assisting convergence between services and
applications, taking into considerations reducing
green house gas emissions.
Step 2 – to continue to investigate and report on
how the techniques identified above can be used to
best deliver the range of services, and applications
required by rural and remote communities and adapted
to the needs of their users.
Step 3 – to identify, assess and consolidate the
challenges faced by developing countries in setting
up a low cost sustainable telecommunication
infrastructure in rural areas of developing nations.
Step 4 – to describe the evolution of system
requirements for rural network system specifically
addressing such identified challenges of rural
Step 5 – to continue consideration of the
sustainability of the techniques and solutions
identified in the above-mentioned steps.
Step 6 – to augment the report on the range of case
studies that clearly demonstrate how a range of
techniques, based on new technology aimed at
providing reduced capital and operating cost
solutions, reducing (GH G) emissions and enhancing
community participation, can maximize the benefits
of broadband telecommunication/ICT infrastructure in
rural and remote areas.
In dealing with the above studies, the
work under way in response to other Questions being dealt with
in ITU-D, and close coordination with relevant activities of the
Questions, [in particular Questions 14-2/2, 18-1/2, 20-2/2 and
also Questions 7-2/2 and 18-1/1 (Study Group 1), are highly
relevant]. In the same way, the studies shall take into account
cases related to indigenous communities, isolated and poorly
served areas LDCs, and small island developing states (SIDS) and
landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), and highlight their
particular needs and other particular situations which need to
be considered in developing telecommunications/ICT facilities
for these areas.
3 Expected output
The output will be a report on the
results of the work conducted for each step above, together with
one or more recommendations at appropriate times, either during
the course of or at the conclusion of the cycle.
The output will be generated on a
yearly basis. The output from the first year will be analysed
and assessed in order to update the work plan for the next year,
and so on.
The Question was originally approved
by WTDC-94, revised by WTDC-98, WTDC-02, WTDC-06 and WTDC-10.
6 Sources of input
Contributions are expected from Member