Model Outline for a UAS Policy
The following outline reflects the features contained in the universal access and service (UAS) policies of most countries, which have UAS policies. In view of the varying contexts from country to country, not all of the headings need to carry the same weight, however, all sections generally reflect best practice for a stand-alone UAS Policy.
Introduction & Background
- General statement of the economic importance of ICT and UAS objectives.
- Linkages with other relevant policies and national objectives (e.g., national telecommunications or ICT policy, economic growth strategy, broadband policy).
- Reference to any previous UAS policy or papers this is replacing or updating (if relevant).
- Linkages with the legal/regulatory framework for the ICT sector (e.g. Telecommunications Act, etc.)
Status of the telecommunications and ICT sector
- Highlights of general sector situation or key developments.
- The current status of the country’s universal access and service.
Vision, Policy direction and Objectives
- Short vision statement: compelling, memorable and inspiring statement of desired output.
- Rationale and purpose (mission) of the policy – why is the policy needed, what issue or problem is the policy addressing, who are the beneficiaries and how will the policy achieve its goals?
- Key principles of the policy, e.g., market orientation, competition and sustainable targets
- The specific policy objectives and outcomes being targeted, e.g., for telephony, Internet, broadband infrastructure, ICT capacity building, services and applications, etc.
- Objectives & targets, which are, smart – specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented and time-bound.
Key challenges and barriers
- Challenges and barriers known in advance, that need to be addressed for successful policy implementation
- This could include financial, institutional, human resource and management challenges, among others.
Strategy and mechanism(s) for the implementation and funding of UAS
- For example, policy or regulatory measures to remove barriers to network and service development, if appropriate (e.g., introduction of service or technology neutrality, infrastructure sharing, broadband cost reduction measures, etc.).
- If necessary, outline separate strategies for each objective – e.g., telephony, Internet, backbone, universal access, market penetration and universal service.
- Funding – description of the funding mechanisms for implementing the UAS policy (e.g., UASF, government funding, etc.) and operational arrangements.
- If chosen, method of UASF subsidy distribution – usually competitive tendering.
- Broad implementation approach.
- Institutional arrangements—lead/ co-ordination agency (e.g., the regulator), policy oversight (e.g., the ministry) and identification of key stakeholders, their roles and responsibilities and requirement for input or their part in policy implementation.
- If a UASF is chosen: creation, governance and administration.
- Identification of risks that need to be addressed or critical success factors.
Principles of operation of the UASF if it is chosen instrument (selection of the following as appropriate)
- Who will contribute.
- What kind of network investment and services (i.e., programmes and projects) will the UASF support and what are the conditions of eligibility (i.e., what justifies subsidy?)
- What services will be targeted.
- How programmes and projects will be developed.
- How areas will be selected.
- Who is eligible to compete or apply for funds.
- Principles of service and technology neutrality.
- Radio frequency spectrum.
- Interconnection, infrastructure sharing and other requirements.
- Tariff principles.
- Clear timeframe for disbursing accumulated funds
- Transparency and accountability
Monitoring, evaluation and review
- Period of review for the policy.
- Definition of performance measures that can be monitored.
- Responsibilities for providing timely and reliable data on the performance indicators and other information to allow monitoring.
- Arrangements for holding the responsible agency for implementation accountable on regular and timely basis (e.g., annual reporting, auditing).
- Clear framework and methodology for evaluating effectiveness of policy agreed with delivery partners and stakeholders.
- Arrangements for results feedback into planning process.