Promoting Digital Inclusion: Dynamic Spectrum Alliance to Work with UK Digital Access Programme

The Dynamic Spectrum Alliance Is partnering with the UK Government’s Digital Access Programme (DAP) to promote digital inclusion in Brazil, Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

By encouraging a new ‘spectrum mindset’ the DSA and DAP say the partnership aims to catalyse affordable internet connectivity in underserved regions to support the inclusive growth of the digital ecosystem.

The Digital Access Programme is designed and funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) in collaboration with the Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Department (DCMS).

The project will leverage the respective networks of stakeholder relationships that are focused on the shared goal of inclusive connectivity.

Martha Suarez, DSA president said:

“Digital inclusion barriers also extend to lack of access to devices, digital literacy and skills and relevant content and services.”

“However, for many communities, connectivity and access to the internet remains the fundamental hurdle, either because of lack of coverage or because the existing solutions are too expensive. Every moment they remain unconnected, the digital divide grows bigger.”

“This project will help increase spectrum availability for affordable connectivity for those that are still underserved or unserved. No one should be left behind in a digital world.”

Since 2018 the DAP has been working to support reforms and the technical capacity of telecom regulators for digital inclusion in various countries. It also works on developing digital skills and enhancing the availability of locally-relevant digital content and services for underserved communities.

The project will build the foundation for ICT regulators in the countries to incentivise more innovative and flexible spectrum frameworks.

“Leveraging our networks and spectrum-sharing initiatives, more stakeholders will be able to access spectrum under fair conditions increasing healthy competition, affordable services and enhanced broadband access for all,”

Suarez added.

Alongside that, the DSA says it will create an opportunity for cooperation between different public and private stakeholders to build capacity with regulators and spectrum authorities, explore innovative technologies for “large scale affordable connectivity and share best practices”.

“There is a great opportunity in these countries to work with regulators, government authorities and other stakeholders to increase their awareness and knowledge about existing dynamic spectrum access mechanisms,”

Suarez concluded.