Licensing and Shared Spectrum Framework for Community Networks for Kenya online discussion

@Adam Lane <adam.lane@huawei.com> will get back to your first response as
needs me to have a huge cup of sweetened coffee before I tackle that thus
handing others first ☺

How do we gauge the demand-side where access is not available?

Let me take you on a short trip to Lamu Island, I visited Lamu for the
first time in 2016. Promptly at 7pm during those days, CITIZEN’s NIPASHE
news would be projected through the use of a laptop and projector
(unfortunately the practice was stopped under the new Governor). The
convergence of people at that central point during WAKATI WA HABARI was
phenomenal… I think I can only equate it to the olden days where MBIYU YA
MGAMBO (trumpet / drums calling for meeting) was sounded. After people
watched news they would discuss the issues from a local perspective –
creation of local content, demand for local content!

Need for local content though being talked about has not been given the
weight it deserves, the Lamu Scenario is a good way to start!

On Fri, May 28, 2021 at 12:17 PM Adam Lane via kictanet <
kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:

> Hi Barrack
>
> So far I was just commenting on the licensing aspects, but will certainly
> also comment on the shared spectrum framework when that arises.
>
>
>
> I agree with your comments. Spectrum is priced too highly. It is priced
> out of reach for many who could provide telecoms services, and the price of
> spectrum is reflected in the cost that consumers pay directly (and
> indirectly, in that in some areas the telcos won’t invest in, having
> already invested so much in spectrum). Tier 1 licensees are making good use
> of their spectrum, but many tier 2 or tier 3 (or other spectrum holders
> such as in government) may not have many sites, so indeed, their spectrum
> is being under-used.
>
>
>
> I am not against community networks, but I am a realist in that they won’t
> make a massive difference since a) so many issues are demand-side, not
> supply-side, as my other emails explain; and b) there are so many costs to
> running a network; and c) existing providers are operating in a competitive
> market and most are not making excessive profits (or are actually
> loss-making) so it is hard to say the existing market has many problems
> that a community network could resolve. I am not saying they cannot try,
> they should be encouraged, but community networks in of themselves may not
> make a big difference to the digital divide. Other solutions, such as
> spectrum pricing, VAT etc etc could have a big difference.
>
>
>
> The reality is that the CA makes 8.5bn KES a year in license fees and
> remits 4.7bn KES to Treasury to be spent on whatever treasury wants. Let
> alone the money (tens of billions) that treasury collects in VAT on
> devices, excise duty on airtime and data and many other taxes.
>
>
>
> Adam
>
>
>
> *From:* Barrack Otieno [mailto:otieno.barrack@gmail.com]
> *Sent:* Friday, May 28, 2021 11:55 AM
> *To:* KICTAnet ICT Policy Discussions <kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke>
> *Cc:* Adam Lane <adam.lane@huawei.com>
> *Subject:* Re: [kictanet] Licensing and Shared Spectrum Framework for
> Community Networks for Kenya online discussion
>
>
>
> Hi Adam,
>
>
>
> I beg to respectfully differ with you on the purpose of the framework.
> This effort by the Communications Authority has broken the glass ceiling on
> Spectrum licensing. Through this many more people will get to understand
> the value of spectrum which will in return encourage better usage and
> deployment which will be beneficial to the entire ICT ecosystem in the
> country. It is a fact that ICTs have widened the divide between the haves
> and have nots and community networks are one of the ways aimed at
> shortening this divide. Community Networks will definitely spur innovation
> at local community level. This may include ideas that will eventually lead
> to manufacture or assembly of local network equipment as we saw with the
> spread of TV where aerials would be manufactured locally which enabled many
> households to own television sets. By the way, I am sure majority of the
> senior listers here must have encountered their first TV sets when they
> were 10 years old, which is a testament of the havoc the digital divide can
> cause. Let us not view community networks purely from commercial lenses.
>
>
>
> Best Regards
>
>
>
> On Thu, May 27, 2021 at 5:44 PM Adam Lane via kictanet <
> kictanet@lists.kictanet.or.ke> wrote:
>
> Hi Mwendwa
>
>
>
> The framework is a positive step. Though Kenya has some of the best
> connectivity on the content, the CA has estimated that around 4% of the
> population do not have broadband network coverage and the business models
> of providing it in those areas are difficult (expensive to provide, few
> users, users have low incomes etc). Whether Community Networks are able to
> provide networks in those circumstances and at scale may be unclear but
> they should certainly be given a chance.
>
>
>
> I also want to commend the report for noting the critical issue of
> demand-side aspects of broadband usage (awareness, skills, access to
> devices, relevant local content etc). Addressing those issues are beyond
> the scope of the regulatory framework which is for licensing, but certainly
> it is good to note that Community Networks might be more willing to invest
> in those areas, and thus benefit from having more users.
>
>
>
> Since the stated purpose of the framework is to provide network coverage
> where it does not exist, my suggestion would be that Community Networks
> should certainly be given a chance in those un-served areas, and in those
> areas (88 sub-locations with 0 coverage, 239 sub-locations with <50%
> coverage for example) the CA needs to provide some efforts to reduce the
> costs of providing networks, including lower licensing fees, and lower
> spectrum costs. This should be for any operator, whether a community
> network, ISP or MNO. Since currently it is difficult for community networks
> to register, then certainly it is a good idea to make it easier for them to
> register and try to build a viable network.
>
>
>
> However it is strange that the suggested size is of “sub-county” rather
> than sub-location or ward; and strange that there is no limitation on
> location such as “no existing network coverage”. I would recommend a
> limitation on the size to be much smaller than sub-county, and more
> importantly, I would recommend a limitation on the community network to
> operate in areas that are un-served by other network providers (these areas
> are now well known following the Access Gaps Study this year).
>
>
>
> The way the current framework is written would allow community networks to
> operate in sub-counties of Nairobi or any other cities/towns, and be in
> direct competition to MNOs and ISPs, which I don’t believe is the purpose
> of the framework.
>
>
>
> Should the purpose of the framework be to address affordability issues of
> broadband (i.e. if affordability is one barrier of broadband usage along
> with devices access, skills, awareness, content, power etc), then I believe
> a different regulatory strategy could be developed to address this. This
> framework for community networks should be limited to areas that are
> un-served only.
>
>
>
> Regards
>
> Adam
>
>
>
> *From:* kictanet [mailto:kictanet-bounces+adam.lane=
> huawei.com@lists.kictanet.or.ke] *On Behalf Of *Mwendwa Kivuva via
> kictanet
> *Sent:* Thursday, May 27, 2021 9:28 AM
> *To:* Adam Lane <adam.lane@huawei.com>
> *Cc:* Mwendwa Kivuva <Kivuva@transworldafrica.com>
> *Subject:* [kictanet] Licensing and Shared Spectrum Framework for
> Community Networks for Kenya online discussion
>
>
>
> Dear Listers,
>
>
>
> As we had indicated, today we will have a discussion on the Licensing and
> Shared Spectrum Framework for Community Networks for Kenya that was issued
> by the Communications Authority of Kenya, available for direct download
> here
> <ca.go.ke/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Licensing-and-Shared-Spectrum-Framework-for-Community-Networks-May-2021.docx.pdf>
> .
>
>
>
> Today, we will discuss the licensing aspect of the community networks. and
> tomorrow about the shared spectrum framework.
>
>
>
> The Community Network Licensing framework proposes;
>
> 1. Community Network Service Provider (CNSP) License to be created within
> the Unified Licensing Framework.
>
> 2. The community network should be fully controlled by a non-profit entity
> and carried on for non-profitable purposes, encouraging members of the
> community to participate in the governance, design, and operationalisation.
>
> 3. Two letters of support from Community Leaders as part of the
> application process for CNSP to ensure community ownership
>
> 3. Geographical coverage of a CNSP will be a sub-county boundary
>
> 4. License period of 10years with License Application fee Ksh1000, Initial
> Operating License Fee Ksh 5000, and Annual Operating Fee Ksh5000.
>
> 6. Spectrum Fee: Fee waiver for non-protected access to lightly-licensed
> and license-exempt frequency bands by wireless access systems
>
> 7. CNSPs would be exempt from USF contributions, while the USF
> implementation framework may include a community ICT development and/or
> capacity building component. The authority shall further examine ways to
> ensure that community networks receive consideration under the future
> framework for the Universal Service Fund
>
>
>
> Questions:
>
> =========
>
> – What are your comments on the proposed licensing framework?
> – What gaps have you identified in the proposed licensing framework?
> – How would you recommend addressing the identified gaps?
> – What recommendations do you have for CA to improve entry into the
> telecommunications market in Kenya?
>
>
>
> Looking forward to an engaging discussion.
>
>
>
> ______________________
> Mwendwa Kivuva, Nairobi, Kenya
> www.linkedin.com/in/mwendwa-kivuva
>
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> —
>
> Barrack O. Otieno
> +254721325277
> +254733206359
> Skype: barrack.otieno
> PGP ID: 0x2611D86A
>
>
>
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> The Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) is a multi-stakeholder platform
> for people and institutions interested and involved in ICT policy and
> regulation. The network aims to act as a catalyst for reform in the ICT
> sector in support of the national aim of ICT enabled growth and development.
>
> KICTANetiquette : Adhere to the same standards of acceptable behaviors
> online that you follow in real life: respect people’s times and bandwidth,
> share knowledge, don’t flame or abuse or personalize, respect privacy, do
> not spam, do not market your wares or qualifications.
>

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