Issue 396: Infrastructure sharing to speed roll-out
I want to commend you on "Infrastructure sharing to speed roll out" story issue 396 with a focus of national and international fibre optic backbone networks following the recent ITU's regulator conference.
Even though you did not cite our MaIN OnE submarine cable project (which will connect countries on the western seaboard of the continent), the model you advocated of credible third party funding of private sector projects deployed on a shared infrastructure basis is exactly what we are implementing.
It is indeed a mixed bag because it appears that in Africa where the infrastructure is most lacking, there is the least openness towards sharing in order to protect markets or inflated profits. However, there is also starting to appear sufficient understanding and we have had some tremendous early successes in generating support for our project. The support has come from financiers who see the opportunity that such infrastructure services bring, some of the more progressive regulators who are working to introduce licensing policies that favour the deployment of open access systems and indeed some operators who are willing to commit to shared infrastructure solutions in areas where they have not already made the investment.
We are delighted by your advocacy of these progressive policies for Africa and hope it encourages more operators and countries to get on board.