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Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Toolkit, ICT, Infrastructure, Co-Deployment, Road, Transport, Energ, Infrastructure

Toolkit for ICT Infrastructure Co-Deployment with Road Transport and Energy Infrastructure

As more of the world becomes digital, broadband access becomes more important than ever, including in rural and remote areas. National programmes to develop the information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and reduce the digital divide are recognized as essential to the achievement of national socioeconomic development plans.

However, for telecom operators, laying fibre-optic cables in sparsely populated regions is not always economically viable, and the existing telephone network in many regions is not adapted to provide broadband access to the Internet. The economic cost and resources used to deploy the ICT infrastructure could be optimized through co-deployment, which is defined as the concomitant deployment of ducts and/or fibre-optic cables during the construction of infrastructure such as new roads, highways, railways, power transmission lines and oil/gas pipelines.

In response to the needs of member States, the Secretariat of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) has taken significant steps to develop human capital and create a package of useful knowledge products and tools to promote an enabling environment for ICT infrastructure co-deployment with transport and energy infrastructure. This capacity building toolkit has been developed as part of the in-depth national studies on ICT infrastructure codeployment with road transport and energy infrastructure in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, in consultation with policymakers of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in October 2019 in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

This capacity building toolkit proposes methodologies and tools for assessing and planning the economic and organizational aspects, and technical aspects of ICT infrastructure co-deployment with road transport and energy infrastructure.

One of the proposed methodologies is to determine the compatibility potential of ICT infrastructure co-deployment with road transport and energy infrastructure. This potential is defined through an evaluation of key parameters for the operation of infrastructure elements that have fundamental importance for co-deployment. The key parameters to identify whether infrastructures are compatible for co-deployment are proposed andcategorized  by technical, geographical, organizational and socioeconomic factors. These parameters are assessed and compared using a scoring system of either points or percentages. To demonstrate the application of this methodology, an evaluation of several promising ICT, road transport and energy infrastructure projects in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are conducted using the proposed parameters to see if the various infrastructure projects are compatible for co-deployment.

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