Ensuring Community Networks are included in Policy and Regulation

How do we ensure that Community Networks are included in the Policy frameworks of the different countries, so that issue of taxes, frequencies, licences, importation of equipment and access to Universal Service Access Fund is made easy.

Hi Solomon,

I don’t think there is one single answer. In general I think the way policy influence works is through multiple sources of influence. The first time a policy-maker hears a new idea, they may shrug it off as irrelevant. The second time they hear it from someone else, it may catch their attention but they will still ignore it. The third time they hear it from yet another source, they will begin to think this is something they should be paying attention to.

There are a host of ways to get an issue in front of a policy-maker / regulator. Face-to-face meetings are great but they can be hard to secure. Policy and regulatory consultations are an essential opportunities for influence because they are moments when the regulator or policy maker is “officially listening” to public input. Getting articles published in local newspapers is a powerful thing to gain influence as well as being able to point to success stories from other countries. There are lots more ways to do this but the key is for them to hear the information from multiple credible sources.

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Hi @sokotnono - BOSCO has already taken huge leaps in having the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) attend your multi-stakeholder event in rural Gulu last week!

Perhaps having on hand where countries have policy and official documents which promotes community networks. For example, I know the African Union passed a motion to promote community networks in rural areas. @carlos has a copy. You can show these documents to UCC. Also, in Mexico, they recently passed a law that indigenous license holders do not pay taxes for spectrum! This is a big cost to save for small operators.

Article of Mexico (in Spanish): https://www.eleconomista.com.mx/opinion/Secretaria-de-Hacienda-concede-una-a-los-operadores-indigenas-20191027-0017.html

Hi @sokotnono, this is the link to the declaration that Josephine mentions:
https://au.int/sites/default/files/decisions/37590-2019_sharm_el_sheikh_declaration_-_stc-cict-3_oct_2019_ver2410-10pm-1rev-2.pdf

Please make sure that provisions are included that will avoid “tick box exercises” that lead to the kind of situations where schools end up with 5 unused connections. In my opinion policy and regulation need to be focused mainly on transparency: clean, open, accessible market data - that can allow the market to self-coordinate.