Broadband for sustainable development

By Zicta Digest
THIS week, we will introduce the subject of broadband and show how it can be used in sustainable development.
The evolution and application of information and communications technology (ICT) services in every aspect of our lives has changed the scope of the digital divide to include the gap in the access to internet and broadband services.
Broadband has become a critical factor in Africa’s development ultimately influencing the way we communicate, operate, govern and interact. The Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA) is cognisant of the need for universally accessible broadband and has embarked on programmes that ensure fast uptake of the broadband services while maintaining quality services.
Undoubledly, communication infrastructure is at the helm of telecommunication service delivery and as such, Zambia has witnessed proliferation of these infrastructure installations such as optic fibre cables and communication masts.
A standard for installation, maintenance and inspection has become essential, taking into account the many related problems associated with poor installation and lack of maintenance.
It is in this vein, that ZICTA in conjunction with the Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS), has since engaged the relevant stakeholders in standardisation of installation of communication infrastructure in the ICT sector. This will enable coordinated installations, quality assurance, reduce on downtime and will also maintain the network integrity.
With the advent of technological evolution of broadcasting television and the subsequent ongoing migration from analogue to digital terrestrial television (DTT), there is need to protect the consumers from sub-standard set-top boxes and television sets.
To address this issue, the standardisation Technical Committee (TC) developed standards for both the set-top box and the integrated digital television (iDTV) sets that would have an embedded digital tuner. This iDTV will, in the long run, enable phasing out of the set-top boxes and replace the current analogue television sets.
In order to enhance the mobile broadband services, ZICTA, after the digital migration deadline of June 2015, will allocate the resulting digital dividend spectrum for mobile broadband services. The authority has also opened up spectrum for deployment of other broadband services in other spectrum bands such as the 2.3GHz and 10.5GHz.
The following are among the services that benefit from the availability of broadband services:
Education, culture, and entertainment
Broadband can overcome geographical and financial barriers to provide access to a wide range of educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities and resources.
Telehealth and telemedicine
Broadband can facilitate provision of medical care to unserved and underserved populations through remote diagnosis, treatment, monitoring, and consultations with specialists.
Economic Development/E-Commerce
Broadband can promote economic development and revitalisation through electronic commerce (e-commerce) by:
• Creating new jobs and attracting new industries
• Providing access to regional, national, and worldwide markets
Electronic government (e-government)
Electronic government can help streamline people’s interaction with government agencies, and provide information about government policies, procedures, benefits, and programs.
Broadband communications services
Broadband provides access to new telecommunications technologies such as Voice-over Internet Protocol (VoIP), allowing voice communication using the Internet.
Communications services for people with disabilities
Broadband permits users of telecommunications relay services (TRS) to use video relay services (VRS) to communicate more easily, quickly, and expressively with voice telephone users.
For further information
The applicants can access our ZICTA websites www.zicta. zm or (, or contact us on the following telephone numbers 0211 244424,244427 or 241236

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