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Complementary Access Models Webinar
Description:  

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the critical importance of universal affordable access to data connectivity. Despite great efforts from all stakeholders, universal affordable access is far from being achieved in African countries. 

According to statistics, there are more than 300 million African peoples without access to mobile broadband connectivity, and an additional 500 million who do not access the service, since even where mobile broadband coverage exists, many are unable to make meaningful use of it because they can’t afford it. Existing market-driven business models push operators to focus their attention on technologies and in areas where they can keep their margins, hence those in areas where the population is sparse or with little income to spare remain unconnected. As a result, there is an emerging consensus regarding the need to develop and enable complementary access models.

Among these alternative models, communities that have begun to resolve their own connectivity challenges through non-for-profit, public-interest initiatives are proving increasingly successful and are growing in number. Community-owned networks are often misunderstood, in part because they represent a significant shift away from conventional market-driven telecommunication infrastructure development. It is important to create a deeper understanding of their potential and to address the lack of an enabling environment that prevents this model from flourishing and contributing to bridging the affordable connectivity gap existing in the continent.
In this session, the need for these complementary models will be introduced, some examples will be explored and policies and regulations to enable them will be discussed.

Jul 30, 2020 11:00 AM in Universal Time UTC

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