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July-August 2013 Update
August 9, 2013

July and August are a time when most Americans take a vacation and relax. However, hundreds of USTTI volunteer trainers have been working hard conducting the USTTI's tuition-free training in such important areas as regulatory reform, rule of law, broadcast, broadband and management topics. These trainers share the USTTI's bedrock goal of addressing these issues so that our graduates are further empowered to improve the ICT infrastructure in their countries throughout the developing world. Since June, our graduate numbers for 2013 doubled to 153.

In July, twenty-eight ICT managers and regulators traveled to Boulder, CO for a week of training with world-renowned spectrum guru Dale Hatfield and Silicon Flatirons. These USTTI scholars then trained under Ken Myers of HP, Steve Conte of ISOC and Bill Woodcock of Packet Clearing House in California. Training concluded in Santa Clara, CA with a two-day course from Intel on the opportunities wireless broadband provides. This training sequence included officials from Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Honduras, Kenya, Lebanon, Nepal, Nigeria, Rwanda, Suriname, Tanzania, Tajikistan, Thailand and Uganda.

Catholic University's Columbus School of Law conducted intensive Rule of Law training that was organized by Donna Gregg, Director of the Columbus School's Institute for Communications Law Studies. During this weeklong session the group of 21 USTTI scholars contained more female than male participants for only the second time in the USTTI's 31 year history. The course included presentations from former FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell, the law school faculty and members of the Washington, DC legal community. Overall, these 21 legal officers from the Bahamas, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Jamaica, Kuwait, Malawi, Nigeria, the Philippines, St. Kitts & Nevis and Thailand participated in this rigorous, bar-review-style program.

Harris Broadcast in Quincy, Illinois, conducted their annual two week course offering for eight broadcasting engineers from Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, Thailand and Uganda that focused on broadcast transmitter maintenance and operation.

Also in July, the fourth of the FCCs six annual USTTI course offerings concluded with a graduating class of 13 regulatory officials from Antigua, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Liberia, Lebanon, Nepal, the Philippines, Somalia and Thailand. During the program on regulatory reform and privatization, USTTI scholars participated in a spirited roundtable discussion with USTTI Board Members Jackie Ruff of Verizon, Bruce Gustafson of Ericsson and Diane Cornell of Inmarsat who were joined by officials from the FCC. Following their time with the FCC scholars continued on to training that was sponsored by AT&T addressing Network Security, IBM addressing e-government solutions and Intel addressing the Best Practices for universal service fund programs.

USTTI Board Member Blog

In order for USTTI graduates and applicants to benefit directly from members of the USTTI Board, we have added our Board Member Blog feature to allow our alumni to read the views of individual board members on subjects that are important in the global ICT marketplace. The forum is intended to provide a valuable new source of information for USTTI graduates to consider as they work to achieve increased, affordable ICT access for your fellow country-men and women. This month's Board Member Blog is written by Eric H. Loeb, Vice President, AT&T International External Affairs.

Getting to Broadband: Mapping Your Route, and Staying on the Route

Earlier this month at the ITU Global Symposium for Regulators 2013 (GSR-13) in Warsaw, I participated on a panel concerning how to maximize the potential of Universal Service Funds (USFs), especially to promote broadband deployment. The topic generated healthy discussion, but the most important message from the panel of regulators and industry from all regions was fundamental: make a plan, and make decisions aligned with that plan. As we discussed on the panel, in the case of most Universal Service Funds around the world, USFs rarely align with broadband goals. This reveals an immediate opportunity for improvement and impact.

The chance to make a tangible impact towards our goals is especially attractive in an age when rapidly changing technology and commercial models can often raise more policy questions than answers.

Every country will have its unique facts, policies and politics, so there isn't a one-size-fits all blueprint for broadband deployment. Nonetheless, whenever we can learn from a large cross-section of experiences, it can save us valuable time and help us avoid avertable errors.

As we all seek to improve policies that will promote investment in and deployment of broadband, there are a couple of exceptional resources. First, the Broadband Commission for Digital Development recently conducted a study of the more than 130 National Broadband Plans to highlight the effective content and impact of such plans. Within the useful guidance of the report, there is also a statistical call to action: on average, adoption of a National Broadband Plan results in 2.5% higher fixed broadband penetration, and 7.4% higher mobile broadband penetration. Look at this Broadband Commission study and see what lessons will work for you!

There have also been some important recent studies on the effectiveness of Universal Service Funds. The GSMA sponsored one study showing that a large majority of USFs do not align with goals to promote fixed or mobile broadband services. For example, many exclusively authorize funding of fixed line PSTN services. Another excellent study was released by the ITU at the GSR-13 event in July, and this provides advice on how to promote broadband digital inclusion in a USF strategy. A clear message from the facts in these studies: if you are going to administer a USF, take the immediate step to ensure it aligns with your current broadband goals. Simply by taking the steps to ensure a USF is available for fixed and mobile broadband projects, you will make a positive difference.

Above I mention three terrific policy resources to help on your path to broadband, both to make your map and to stay aligned with it. In addition to those resources, the USTTI Board is always available to share our experiences from the US development of a National Broadband Plan and the subsequent revision of the Universal Service Fund. We look forward to the discussions, and the mutual sharing of experiences and ideas from around the world.

Eric H. Loeb is Vice President, AT&T International External Affairs. He supports AT&T's team of international external and regulatory affairs advocates located around the world. In addition to participation on the USTTI Board for several years, Mr. Loeb chairs the International Chamber of Commerce Task Force on Internet and Telecommunications.

Mobile Broadband Course added and a call for Third Trimester Applications

The USTTI will conduct an additional Mobile Broadband training sequence beginning on Friday, October 25th and running through Friday, November 1st sponsored by Ericsson. Individuals interested in attending this additional Mobile Broadband training should visit the USTTI website (http://www.ustti.org) to submit an application as soon as possible. Applications should be submitted for course 13-255, "Mobile Broadband: Empowering People, Business and Society".

The window is closing soon but we are still accepting last-minute applications for our third trimester courses. You can find a full list of third trimester course offerings on our website, www.ustti.org, featuring training opportunities in Cybersecurity & ICT Policy, Spectrum Monitoring, Radio Broadcasting, Satellite Communications, Telehealth and Emergency Communications.

Alumni Update
USTTI is proud to highlight some of the professional success stories from our alumni in our monthly updates:

Mr. Daniel Obam (Kenya), Communications Radio Technology Expert, National Communications Secretariat, has been elected Chairman of the International Telecommunication Unions (ITU) Radiocommunication Advisory Group (RAG).

Mr. Joseph Emeshili (Nigeria), was promoted to the position of Technical Assistant for the Permanent Secretary of the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Communication Technology.

USTTI always welcomes success stories from graduates. Whether you have received a recent promotion or embarked on a new project, please keep us updated as you enjoy success after your USTTI training. Please send all alumni success stories to USTTI Curriculum Coordinator, Mike Beirne at mbeirne@ustti.org or USTTI Curriculum Coordinator, Liam Quinn, at lquinn@ustti.org.

 

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