|Broadband For The Have-Nots|
|The International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO) has launched an initiative to bring broadband via satellite to less developed regions of the globe. ITSO was formed during the privatization of Intelsat to carry on the public service obligations that the former intergovernmental organization had provided.
The broadband initiative, which ITSO plans to present to the World Summit on Information Society to be held in Geneva this December, is taking a carrot approach to encourage industry to participate along with governments in offering services to underserved areas. The incentives actually involve three carrots that satellite companies might find tempting. These carrots are included in a broadband memorandum of understanding (MOU) that would ease the process for satellite operators to gain access to spectrum and markets.
The first carrot is a 1 GHz block of spectrum in the C- and Ku-bands that would be made available worldwide through the International Telecommunication Union.
|Once the MOU is adopted, the ITU would become the lead organization in its implementation.
The second is a global standard for terminal equipment. Ahmed Toumi, ITSO director general and CEO, said that the broadband initiative would not seek to subsidize the cost of terminals to make them more affordable for poorer regions of the world. Instead, he predicted that having global standards would lower manufacturing costs, cut prices and spur expansion to less developed countries.
The third carrot is a pro-competitive and a harmonized regulatory framework in countries that participate in the initiative. The MOU would allow national service providers to be granted licenses based on minimum common licensing requirements. Combined with universal technical standards for equipment in all countries participating in the initiative, this should provide a stable and secure regulatory framework for investment.