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Come 2020 half the world will still be unconnected

Come 2020 half the world will still be unconnected

Now that the dust has settled after the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance Global Summit, held in Cape Town earlier this month, plans to improve broadband coverage on the African continent will likely shift into fifth gear.

The aim -  to create regulatory frameworks for the enabling of investment into broadband infrastructure in Africa, an element that was discussed at great length during the summit.

Representatives from five continents and 21 countries were involved in these discussions, and will - at varying degrees - be responsible for making this goal a reality. 

What are world leaders grappling with the most at this juncture? The fact that just 53 of the world's population will be connected by 2020, which is ultimately an impediment globalization.

"This leaves almost half of the world unconnected, and the United Nations Broadband Commission says being connected is now a basic human right," said Professor H Sama Nwana, Emeritus Executive Director, Dynamic Spectrum Alliance.

Nwana was involved in a panel discussion that included senior experts from the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA), the National Communications Authority (NCA), Ghana and Ultimate Inter networking Solutions (UltiNetS). 

"Investment in infrastructure, unlicensed spectrum and dynamic access technologies remain a barrier to connectivity. It is a challenge of both affordability as well as accessibility, placing the problem squarely with communications policy makers and regulators worldwide," added Nwana.  

"The Global Summit provided a great opportunity to bring together regional policy makers and regulators to share data from their area and explore dynamic spectrum access policies that are already in place and working," added Nwana.

When it comes down to it, two things are most important. Policy making and its implementation needs to improve drastically across the board. More importantly, perhaps, the policy making going forward needs to be more dynamic.

"The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance is focused on encouraging policy changes to enable dynamic spectrum access technologies to help make spectrum available in low-, mid-, and high-band spectrum to satisfy the requirements of densification and coverage, and do so in cost effective ways to enable successful and sustainable network deployments," said Kalpak Gude, the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance President.

By Siya Mchunu

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