The Government of Botswana through the then Ministry of Communications Science and Technology (MCST) has mandated the BOCRA to perform the regulatory and administrative functions for the registration of the .bw domain name. The Ministry further mandated that;
- the ISPs should be allowed to perform the retail functions by registering and selling the .bw domain name;
- a Technical Advisory Committee should be appointed by the BOCRA with the representatives from the all key stakeholders, i.e. ISPs, PTOs etc to guide the operations the .bw domain registry; and
- in the long term the responsibility for the dot.bw domain management would be delegated to the proposed industry regulator through legislation.
Following the mandate from the then MCST,the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) composed of all key industry stakeholders was formed and inaugurated on the 28 April 2010. Nine stakeholders sit as members of TAC and these are; BOCRA, BOCCIM, BITS, Mascom wireless, Orange Botswana, BTC, DIT, BISPA and UB. The role of TAC includes among others;
- to identify the needs,concerns and interest of internet community;
- to promote the objectives of a fair level playing field and provide regular reports and updates to stakeholders,
- to give specialist advice where appropriate and to consider and recommend strategies for the continuation and development of the ccTLD, and;
- to represent the country in regional and international meetings concerning ccTLD as and when required.
As part of the TAC composition requirements from the BOCRA, a chairperson and the vice-chairperson were chosen among the members to facilitate the meetings of the TAC. In line with promoting team effectiveness, the TAC decides to establish two sub-committees to work on policy formulation and public awareness strategy. The two sub-committees, namely Policy Sub-Committee (BTC, Law Society, BTA, BISPA and DIT as members) and Public Awareness Sub-Committee (BITS, DIT, UB and BOCRA as members) meet at different times to that of the TAC meeting to work on their objectives.
The growth of telecommunications services especially mobile telephony, since 1996 has led to the worldwide proliferation of telecommunications infrastructure across towns, cities and the countryside. This proliferation has led to negative visual impacts on the cityscape and landscape as they have no respect to important aesthetic/scenic views and amenity of both the built and natural environments.
In view thereof, the BOCRA in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Affairs and the public telecommunications operators has established guidelines to facilitate the sharing of all the passive elements of the communications infrastructure among operators.
Objectives Of The Guidelines
The Primary object of these Guidelines is to establish a framework within which communications operators can negotiate and conclude sharing arrangements for passive infrastructure, and for that purpose, specifically to:
- Ensure that the incidence of unnecessary duplication of passive infrastructure is minimised or completely avoided;
- Protect the environment by reducing the proliferation of infrastructure and facilities installations or deployment;
- Promote fair competition through equal access being granted to the Passive infrastructure of operators, where applicable on mutually agreed terms;
- Minimise operators’ expenditure on supporting infrastructures and to free more funds for investment in core network equipment, innovative and affordable services; and
- Encourage the operators to take public health and safety and the environment into account when constructing and or deploying infrastructure.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) convened a Regional Radiocommunications Conference (RRC 06) to plan for Digital broadcasting on frequency bands VHF (bands III 174-230 MHz), and UHF (band IV and V 470-862 MHz) for the ITU Region 1 in 2006. The RRC 06 agreed that at least by 2015 all the countries in the African & European Region should have completed the digital switchover.
In Botswana, a Reference Group was established on 07 February 2008 to kick start the digital switchover/migration process.
For more information visit http://www.godigital.org.bw/.