Comments from civil society organisations and academia to the Ethiopian Communications Authority on the Universal Access and Service Framework and Universal Access Fund Regulation
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In Public Notice “Third Round of Consultations”, 11 October 2020, the Ethiopian Communications Authority (ECA) invited interested stakeholders to submit their comments on the issues related to four documents, which include two draft directives, one framework, and one draft regulation, which are: (1) Mobile Number Portability Directive, (2) Telecommunications Wholesale National Roaming Directive, (3) Universal Access and Service Framework, and (4) Universal Access Fund Regulation.
The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) joined the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), Bahir Dar Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) Research Center, Internet Society, Internet Society Ethiopia Chapter and Network for Digital Rights for Ethiopia to submit feedback.
In presenting our feedback, we focused on documents (3) and (4) above and wish to recommend that the government considers innovative models, particularly those that support the growth of community networks to participate in the competitive telecom market. In our submission we have outlined why this is important to accelerate the growth of the broadband sector.
We are encouraged to see that the Ethiopian Communications Authority is seeking input from various stakeholder groups before producing the final version of the documents. We hope this collaborative, multistakeholder approach begun by the ECA will continue as Ethiopia pursues a competitive and viable digital economy and telecoms sector.