DEVELOPMENTAL ASPECTS OF THE INTERNET
1. What are the developmental aspects of the Internet (for example, economic, social, regulatory and technical aspects), especially for developing countries?
Internet plays an increasing role in life's daily and increasingly affects the economic development of a country, so it is very important to create an environment that encourages the use of the Internet. First of all it is necessary to work on the digital literacy of the population in the way to get them engaged in the digital society. With the introduction of the Internet in everyday life, setting up various e-services, increasing local content in all respects will increase the need for its use. The appearance of new content and new e-services encourages the development of infrastructure for access to the Internet, but also the application of new technologies that allow faster access speeds makes room for offering a range of new content and services, so it means that the development of the infrastructure and content are interconnected to each other, so as to influence one another, and it affects in their constant evolving.
The regulatory framework needs to be predictable to encourage long-term investments in infrastructure. Of course, all this should be accompanied by regulations in other areas, primarily in the field of construction. In Montenegro is kept the register of operator`s infrastructure, so that the joint use of the existing infrastructure is increasingly represented, which greatly reduces the cost of construction.
It is very important to provide an environment that provides security and privacy to users while using the Internet.
And finally, there must be ensured the access to the Internet also in areas that are not economically viable for operators, usually in sparsely populated rural regions. In Montenegro, it is solved through the universal service, but also during the allocation of radio frequencies for mobile operators, it is put the requirement that operators have to cover with signal rural areas as well, and to make possible to customers in these areas to access to the Internet at high speeds.
At the state level a lot of this is supported through the Information Society Development Strategy of Montenegro by 2020.
2. How can governments and other stakeholders promote the developmental aspects of the Internet?
The Government of Montenegro is endeavoring to provide the best possible conditions for the quality of life of citizens in all aspects of life and work, especially in the development of information - communication technologies, and building an information society in the country. The development of the information society and the use of ICT in order to raise the efficiency of economic and social processes, requires coordinated efforts and activities of all government institutions. In order to build a favorable environment in the field of ICT, and the team and access to the Internet, the Government aims to:
1) Improve the overall price / feature of all electronic communications services;
2) Introduces competition in the existing monopoly or quasi-monopoly of the market, such as fixed network and services, international traffic, Internet access and Internet services;
3) It provides a favorable investment climate for technology broadband networks, both for existing and potential investors;
4) Amend the existing legislation and regulations relating to electronic communications in order to approach the policy and principles of EU directives in the field of EC. This goal is consistent with the Government's efforts to achieve closer economic, trade and political relations with the EU, including, as the ultimate goal, the full membership;
5) Promotes the use of the Internet by individuals and legal entities, government bodies, in accordance with the provisions of the strategy of ICT and the development of a wide range of online applications and services (G2B, G2C, B2B and B2C 3);
6) Restructures planning and use of electronic services and networks needs to improve their efficiency and cost / performance;
7) Remove all barriers to attract new investments in the Montenegrin telecommunications sector relating to: the introduction of new services that depend on the timely availability of reasonable offer wholesale services of existing operators; construction of new systems, particularly cable distribution network (which can provide telecommunications services and distribute entertainment programs); and use other selected technologies such as broadband wireless transmission;
Montenegro has established a national point of exchange of Internet traffic (IXP), which result in the following benefits: encouraging the development of Internet services in Montenegro, lowering cost of Internet access services, relief links to the global Internet, improving the quality of Internet access services and increase safety communication, etc.
The government creates a legal environment that encourages competition and it leads to the formation of prices that are affordable for all citizens. The increase in the number of internet users, whether via fixed or mobile networks, testified that the Internet is accessible to most Montenegrin citizens, and the application of the universal service it is more accessible and in rural areas. Today, all internet providers in Montenegro offer special, cheaper internet packages for socially vulnerable population, pupils, students, people with disabilities, NGOs, etc. In addition, in many municipalities in Montenegro has a location in which to use free wireless internet.
From the Internet, which is based on a "best effort", it is expected more, so operators must provide a certain quality of Internet connection which will allow users to use various content available on the Internet, and which are more sensitive to quality variation of Internet connection. Quality parameters have to be stipulated, and their values have to be publicly available to all operators. Also, operators must publicly announce if they are performing traffic management, as well as possible slowing or blocking of traffic. It is necessary to provide tools to users with which they can examine the quality of the Internet connection and on that basis they can make the decision on the selection of the operator.
3. What are the challenges and opportunities?
Today, the telecommunication sector is experiencing structural changes and is still struggling with the missing links of the national market, the lack of regulatory consistency and predictability, especially for radio spectrum, as well as the lack of sufficient investment, especially in rural areas.
The introduction of new ICT and modern services that require high speed data transfer is unthinkable without a developed broadband Internet access and built proper infrastructure. Development and construction of modern electronic communication network, efficient use radio-frequency spectrum, geographic and economic availability broadband access is the goal in function of the development of digital Montenegro.
In addition to providing infrastructure and geographical availability of broadband access is necessary to ensure its economic availability through price regulation of broadband access, in accordance with the law, and take measures to increase the use of the Internet.
Achieving affordable access to the Internet is best done through the promotion of competition. In order to ensure, competitive environment, where all market participants have equal conditions for business, it is necessary to adopt an appropriate regulatory framework in the field of electronic communications that will allow ease the entry in market and will remove all barriers of entering the market. Also, it is necessary to have mechanisms which will, in order to increase competition, enable interventions on the wholesale market, and if that is not enough, then also on the retail market. It is necessary to ensure mechanisms for affordable prices for vulnerable population.
Also, it is necessary to enable environment to build confidence and security in the use of the Internet in Montenegro through:
1) Improving institutional and legislative framework for cyber security
2) Protection of critical information infrastructures
3) Strengthening capacities of state law enforcement authorities
4) Strengthening capacities of the National Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT-ME)
5) Establishing and maintaining an effective Public-private partnership
6) Raising public awareness about the safe usage of the Internet
Digital Montenegro - a country that has recognized the economic and social potential of ICT remains the vision of the information society development in Montenegro.