ICTs and environmental sustainability: Mapping national policy contexts in India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Costa Rica and Mexico
APC commissioned five of its members to conduct research in their country on the topic of ICTs and environmental sustainability. This report compiles and summarises the findings of research conducted in five different countries.
For about 75 years up to the sixties, nearly all telecommunications services in the country were in private hands, distributed among hundreds of local operators. Telephony authorizations were issued and controlled by the state governments. In this process Companhia Telefônica Brasileira (CTB, a subsidiary of the Canadian company Brazilian Traction) emerged as a major operator of local and long-distance services in the majority of the larger Brazilian cities, covering about 80% of the telephone terminals in the country. CTB shared the market in these cities with Companhia Telefônica Nacional, CTN, an ITT3 subsidiary. The remaining cities and towns were covered by small local operators in extremely precarious situations.
Prior to 1994, spectrum in South Africa was managed by the state body responsible for its implementation. Thus broadcast spectrum was managed by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and telecommunications spectrum managed by the state telecommunications provider, Telkom. This was generally uncontentious because, prior to the rise of mobile telecommunications and wireless broadband, the availability of spectrum significantly exceeded its demand.
Spectrum management and regulation is the collective responsibility of more than one body in India. There are different bodies handling spectrum licensing, regulation, pricing, and the levy of penalties; some bodies have only an advisory role.
With hundreds of telecommunications and broadcasting licenses granted since 1992, Nigeria is arguably the leading country in Africa with respect to spectrum deregulation and licensing. There are over currently 350 licensed broadcast stations in operation in the country. Simultaneously NCC has licensed over 300 telecoms licenses to private companies in Nigeria, though unlike for broadcasting, this study could not independently verify the utilization of these licenses. With the global trend that will see the two regulatory bodies merge, this report questions which regulatory body’s practice of assignment will prevail, and what steps will be taken to improve transparency and usage of spectrum – especially of the newly-freed broadcasting frequencies from digital migration.