Stakeholders agree to expand broadband usage
Written by: Daniel Tuyizere
Friday, November 17th, 2017, 10:13
Internet and ICT stakeholders from the public and private sector met in Kigali to discuss key issues in specific areas related to the adoption of broadband.
Organised under the theme, “Broadband as a Utility,” the Rwanda Internet Governance Forum had a purpose of maximizing the opportunity for open and inclusive dialogue and the exchange of ideas on internet governance related issues; create opportunities to share best practices and experiences; identify emerging issues and bring them to the attention of relevant bodies and the general public, contribute to capacity building for Internet governance.
Participants said broadband has reached a stage where it is looked at as a utility, given its increasingly unique application in business and employment, civil engagement as well as social interaction.
Ghislain Nkeramugaba, the CEO of Rwanda Information and Communication Technology Association (RICTA), the organiser of the meeting, said that Broadband is the utility as the purpose of the forum was to have everybody aligned to that idea that broadband should be taken as utility and therefore should be catered on the same level we are taking electricity and water.
In order to help the government reach 80% target of internet connectivity, the stakeholders put together in order to talk about what is not working. Definitely, they work with the city of Kigali and the internet providers to achieve the goal of broadening the broadband in the country.
Jidia Gasana, a manager at MTN Rwanda said that when the fibre cuts as the results of roads constructions and repairs, their services get impacted. But to help their clients, they try to repair as quickly as possible.
The regulator has said that there are measures in place to make sure that there is a policy to be followed by road construction. While there are plans to construct the road, the mapping should be known like the pipe lines and should plan ahead so that the fibre is relocated as quick as possible and at shared cost.
Nkeramugaba noted that when there is a fibre cut, everybody loses, in the past, the government used to pay for costs of reconnecting the fibre cuts when it became to the roads constructions or expansion.
Stakeholders are working together to align better plans hoping that fibre cuts will.
The Minister of ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, expressed frustration towards ISPs and telecoms due to low usage in line with the theme in spite huge investments undertake in terms of coverage.
Rwanda adopted 4G LTE wireless Broadband network as last mile solution for urban and rural area which will be operated on wholesale basis with open access to all operators. Currently, the geographical coverage of 4G network in Rwanda stands at 51.40 per cent and the population coverage is at 64.30 per cent.