Why reform is needed
Any economy that aspires to compete effectively in the globalised world and become a knowledge-based one needs to be better connected to information and communication technologies (ICT) than most other countries in the world. Affordable, high-speed, high-capacity broadband infrastructure (often referred to as ‘digital infrastructure’) is fundamental to that connectivity.
Beyond the economy, the availability of effective and affordable digital infrastructure is also increasingly a key conduit of modern society, in terms of entertainment, learning, healthcare, civic and social cohesion.
Governments throughout the world (including in EBRD’s countries of operations) have sought to develop and adopt policies and strategies aimed at accelerating the deployment of effective and affordable broadband infrastructure. But ensuring the deployment and continuing availability of such broadband infrastructure remains a challenge in many countries worldwide. The core of this challenge is the need to maximise the commercial viability of effective broadband infrastructure supply through ensuring a market-led competitive environment, while also providing the supply of comparable broadband infrastructure to those areas where market failure means such supply might not be commercially viable in the short-to medium term.
The LTP's role
A key part of the EBRD portfolio is focussed on financing and investing in ICT sector companies. Running in tandem with these finance and investment activities, the Legal Transition Team (LTT) offers a wide-ranging programme of support to sector policymakers and regulatory authorities in developing and maintaining a sector policy, legal and regulatory environment which is sufficiently conducive to retaining and attracting the levels of investment necessary to build world-class ICT sectors.
The ICT sector is broad-ranging and impacts virtually all sectors of human endeavour. But one of LTT’s primary areas of focus is the infrastructure and connectivity which underpins the delivery of all ICT services.
The LTT is increasingly concentrating efforts on building a comprehensive support programme which will act to accelerate broadband connectivity within and amongst its countries of operations.