Rwanda’s revised broadband policy proposes a redefinition of the market structure, moving from a service-based competition to a global deployment of networks and advanced services, ICT and Innovation Minister, Paula Ingabire has said. Ingabire was speaking during the Policy Leader’s Forum organized by the Council of ICT Ministers, one of the events happening at the sidelines of the Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) Mobile World Congress (MWC) hosted in Kigali. The development, she said, goes hand in hand with aligning spectrum licensing and the regulatory framework with investment strategies in a bid to attract more operators and investors to the broadband market. Key highlights According to Ingabire, the revised policy continues to focus on five important progressive pillars. They include securing and optimizing broadband infrastructure resources management, inclusive access to high-quality, trusted, and competitive broadband services as well as sustainable and meaningful broadband connectivity driving broadband adoption. Other pillars, she said, include digital skills for all and also national climate resilience promotion. Commenting on affordability and quality broadband services, Minister Ingabire said that this will include a continued focus on smart device penetration, opening diversified international traffic routes, and implementing number portability services. “With our policy objectives being to integrate broadband targets in national infrastructure investment planning, to promote bulk broadband capacity purchases to drive cost reduction, to promote alternative broadband infrastructure technologies, and to promote local Internet Exchange Points and local hosting facilities,” she said. Equally important, she pointed out, is to enhance competition on infrastructure, through the introduction of terrestrial wireless technology neutrality as well as reviewing spectrum resources usage. Catalyst for innovation To promote broadband as a catalyst for innovation, Rwanda mulls putting in place incentives that promote innovative technology solutions and develop a broadband industry development index. The country has also laid out plans to adopt agile methods of regulation that will help to develop data-driven regulatory frameworks and regular market assessment in response to the rapid broadband industrial changes. “We are certain that improving broadband services in Rwanda will be a critical enabler of the social-economic development we seek, and that this progressive policy will directly contribute to the achievement of our national strategic goals,” she said. Rwanda plans to achieve high-income country status and upper-middle-income country status by 2035.