1. One of the key policy changes required to unlease a flood of
investment, job creation, and related benefits is for developing
countries to make unlicensed spectrum actually available for commercial
use, without licenses, fees, or other government approvals. WiFi uses
outside of specific establishments is generally not legal, and WiMax
will not be either, absent changes. Yet it is precisely free spectrum
that is unleashing the WiFi boom in the US, and the potential is larger
in developing countries because of the generally very high cost of
access, which unlicensed spectrum (and the appropriate business models)
can help bring down. The users of such spectrum will not just be ISPs
and telecenters, but also companies building private ICT networks for
agricultural, education, health, and financial purposes.

2. Public-private partnerships do have great potential, but the
difference in time scale for decision-making between the public sector
and the private sector is a major hindrance. Entrepreneurs can't wait 18
months for a decision, and many larger private companies won't either.
So the right way to think of public-private partnerships may be
investment/business development by the private sector, with the public
sector creating opportunity by waiving unnecessary regulations, or
creating social purpose exemptions for a limited time or for pilots, or
otherwise lowering regulatory barriers/reducing risk for private
investment--coupled with close monitoring by the public sector to ensure
that genuine public benefits are being achieved.

Allen L. Hammond
Vice President for Innovation & Special Projects
World Resources Institute
10 G Street NE
Washington, DC 20002  USA
V (202) 729-7777 
F (202) 729-7775

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