Digital Inclusion component will support digital inclusion through: (a) the expansion of digital connectivity through the co‐financing of deployment of high‐speed broadband connectivity in areas that have been identified as not connected or underserved and (b) improving of the enabling environment for wireless broadband services, through the deployment of the National Spectrum Monitoring System (NSMS). Importantly, by expanding the high‐speed broadband connectivity across the country, including in rural areas which are most vulnerable to climate change, the activity will help enable improvements in early warning systems through support to better communication between disaster‐prone areas and relevant public agencies during and post disasters.
Financing of Digital Connectivity
Financing of Digital Connectivity subcomponent will finance (1) provision of support to facilitate the deployment of telecommunications infrastructure on technologically neutrality grounds to increase access to high‐speed broadband internet for unconnected or underserved settlements and public institutions (especially healthcare and educational institutions) and (2) provision of technical assistance and capacity building activities for the Regulatory Agency for Electronic Communications and Postal Services (ARKEP) and Ministry of Economic Development to strengthen the enabling policy, legal, and regulatory environment to support the rollout of high‐speed broadband infrastructure on open‐access and non‐discriminatory terms and development of digital economy. The objective of this subcomponent is to ‘crowd‐in’ private investments in areas that will not be served by the market itself (where market failures have been identified), through matching grants arrangement. Specifically, the Project will allocate funding to internet service providers (ISPs) that, following the call for proposals, request the least amount of grant and will provide the most efficient technical solution, incl. in terms of budget, to connect the selected unserved settlements (incl. households and public institutions) to download/upload speeds of at least 100 Mbps, which can be further upgraded in the future. Exact geographic locations have been identified. The disbursement of the grant amount to the selected ISPs will be linked to completion of deployment.
National Spectrum Monitoring System (NSMS)
This subcomponent will finance (a) provision of support towards the deployment of NSMS for ARKEP to facilitate investments in wireless infrastructure roll‐out through technical inputs on radio‐frequency bands assignment and usage and (b) provision of technical assistance and capacity building activities for ARKEP in spectrum management and topics related to improving the quality of wireless broadband services across the country. Through NSMS ARKEP will ensure efficient spectrum monitoring in the country. Specifically, this activity will finance the deployment of hardware and software elements (e.g. towers and antennas), setup (launch) of the system (including the setup of a control center and launch of the spectrum management software), and training for ARKEP. The NSMS will be operated by ARKEP in accordance with its mandate under the Law.