Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tanzania - broadband is at the centre of an ambitious 6-year ICT policy

[apc] Like its East African neighbours, Tanzania shares an unwavering faith in high-speed broadband. Broadband, the story goes, will be the panacea to myriad societal woes – including poverty, poor education and health services, and a lack of government services. Optical fibre running through the heart of the country has the potential to change the country’s social and economic fabric for good.

This faith is backed-up by policy. Broadband is one of the centerpieces of the country’s ambitious six-year National ICT Policy launched in 2003. In 2005, in an attempt to achieve these policy goals, regulations governing broadband services were incorporated into the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority Act (TCRA) – ahead of some of its neighbouring rivals.

But, despite these strides, many argue that the country is in danger of slipping behind in the race to build an information society, and its dream of being a competitive regional hub fast vanishing. There is a gap, it is argued, between policy and what is really happening on the ground.

It’s not enough to have a pushy broadband policy in Tanzania

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