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Rapporteur's Group Question details

Question 5/1
Telecommunications/ICTs for rural and remote areas
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Expected output

The output will be a report on the results of the work conducted for each item studied, together with a handbook, case study analysis reports, and one or more Recommendations and other relevant materials at appropriate times, either during the course of or at the conclusion of the cycle.
Information shall be consolidated and disseminated to the membership to enable them to organize seminars and workshops for sharing best practices on the deployment of broadband infrastructure in rural and underserved areas.

Question or issue for study
There are still many challenges to spreading telecommunications/ICTs in rural and remote areas. Throughout the studies conducted in past study periods, it has been clear from the experience of many countries that technologies and strategies for rural and remote areas are various and diversified from country to country. Also, the social, economic and technological situation in rural and remote areas is changing rapidly. Therefore, it is important to update the study of telecommunications/ICTs for rural and remote areas and to provide best practices to other developing and developed countries, in respect of the following items:
– Techniques and sustainable solutions that can impact on the provision of telecommunications/ICTs in rural and remote areas, with emphasis on those that employ the latest technologies designed to lower infrastructure capital and operating costs, assist convergence between services and applications, and take into consideration the need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
– Difficulties in creating or upgrading telecommunication infrastructure in rural areas.
– Difficulties facing fixed and mobile networks for rural deployments in developing and developed countries, and the requirements to be satisfied by such systems.
– Needs and policies, mechanisms and regulatory initiatives to reduce the digital divide by increasing broadband access.
– Quality of the services provided, and the cost effectiveness, degree of sustainability in different geographies and sustainability of the techniques and solutions.
– Business models for sustainable deployment of networks and services in rural and remote areas, taking into consideration priorities based on economic and social indicators.
– Increasing availability of telecommunications/ICTs that provide enhanced connectivity at progressively lower costs, lower energy consumption and lower levels of GHG emissions.
– Experience gained in previous ITU-D study cycles in many parts of the developing world in implementing and refining major rural telecommunication programmes, as more countries respond to particular situations and domestic demand using best practices as outlined in the work of ITU D.
– 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 (LDCs).
– The steady progress being made on human resources development/
management issues, which are fundamental to establishing sustainable telecommunication infrastructure.
– Identifying the rapid change of technologies which could be utilized in rural and remote areas should be taken into account. Here, coordination with Question 1/1 is needed to avoid duplication.
– Opportunities for and challenges to access to services in locally relevant languages.
– Description of evolving system requirements for rural network systems specifically addressing the identified challenges of rural deployment.
– Analysis of case studies.
During the study carried out on each of these items, the following matters should also be studied and reflected in the outputs of the Question:
– environmental sustainability in deploying the infrastructure and necessary robustness of telecom infrastructure;
– maintenance and operational aspects to provide a quality and continuous service;
– demand-side factors and practices to generate and increase the usage of ICT devices and services;
– efforts to build ICT skill sets for the deployment of broadband services;
– relevant localization of content;
– affordability of services/devices for rural users to adopt so as to fulfil their development needs;
– strategies to maintain and encourage the training of technical staff in order to guarantee the reliability of the telecommunication infrastructure;
– strategies to promote small, non-profit community operators
In addressing the above studies, the work under way in response to other ITU D Questions, and close coordination with relevant activities under those Questions, in particular Questions 1/1, 3/1 and 4/1 and Questions 2/2, 4/2 and 5/2, are highly relevant. Likewise, the studies shall take into account cases related to indigenous communities, isolated and poorly served areas, LDCs, small island developing states (SIDS) and landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), and highlight their specific needs and other particular situations which need to be considered in developing telecommunication/ICT facilities for these areas.

Output Report
ITU-D Recommendations
Useful Information
Reference Material

  • E-Discussion(- 2011)
  • Case Library for Rural Communications(2006-2010)
  • Final Report of Q10-2/2(2006-2010)
  • Analysis of case studies on successful practices in telecommunications for rural and remote areas (2002-2006)
  • Report on the analysis of case studies related to access for rural and remote areas submitted to the ITU-D Study Groups until 2014, September 2014
  • ITU study on broadband situations in rural and remote areas, 2014
  • ITU Report on implementation of evolving telecommunication/ICT infrastructure for developing countries, 2015
  • ITU-D Study Group 1 Question 5/1 - Global survey on telecommunications/ICTs for rural and remote areas, November 2015
  • ITU Interactive Transmission Maps(public)(TIES)
    Access to collaborative tools (mailing lists, e-forum, etc.)