Selection Step 3b: Components of an Appropriate Last Mile Connectivity Solution

Usage

An ex-ante determination of usage for last-mile connectivity service will significantly impact the calculations of the type of service that could be established and what the costs and pricing of that service will be. It may be that the QoS (and thus general usage) should be determined by whatever the market can support; or, usage could be more prescriptive in that specific activities are required for the last-mile connectivity service, such as providing connectivity for healthcare services (telemedicine), distance learning, government services, etc. As noted in Step 2, general connectivity service features a wide range of usage levels that are usually constrained by QoS and the price of connectivity. If specific sectoral applications are the focus of the connectivity service, then the QoS that the network needs to support will be determined by the QoS thresholds needed for those applications and services.

As noted in Section 2.3.1 (Usage characteristics), general connectivity service features a wide range of usage levels that are usually constrained by QoS and the price of connectivity. If specific sectoral applications are the focus of the connectivity service, then the QoS that the network needs to support will be determined by the QoS thresholds needed for those applications and services. Particularly for target localities that are totally unserved, network considerations such as bandwidth per user and overall QoS may be more or less than that of the general market. A participatory mechanism involving many (if not all) stakeholders might also be useful in this regard. For underserved communities, users are more likely to have a feel for the extent of the access gap in their locality, in terms of what they can and cannot do with existing connectivity. One difficulty with totally unserved communities is that they may not have existing usage patterns and therefore may not have as keen an understanding of what level of connectivity is most appropriate for them. This is another reason why prescriptive usage might be a more useful gauge of usage for those target localities, at least when it comes to essential digital services such as telemedicine and education.