What is the GBI program?

  • Joe Duncan
  • January 11, 2013
What is GBI?

USAID’s GBI program is designed to ISPs, in the areas of: 1) adopting a new provide a comprehensive approach for harnessing the power of ICTs across USAID’s development portfolio. The program is structured as having two core components: Access and Apps (applications). Each of these components breaks down into two elements. The GBI strategic focus is to serve as a catalyst for social and economic change.

This Overview document provides a summary of the core components, with additional one-page documents providing more in-depth descriptions.

The Access component focuses resources on extending both voice and broadband, with a specific thrust on rural communities. Within the Access component the GBI program addresses two elements.

Public Sector: Facilitating Environment– a fundamentalrequirement for extendingaccess is a legal and regulatory environment that facilitates private sector investment required for build out. While there are a number of topics needing to be addressed, the GBI program concentrates on three: 1) national broadband plans, 2) universal service and access funds, and 3) promoting “white space” frequencies.

Private Sector: Rural Build Out – ultimately the private sector makes the needed investments for extending voice and broadband networks. The GBI program works with carriers, mostly mobile network operators (MNOs) and generation of low-cost solutions that can be powered by clean energy, 2) adopting business- financial models more suitable for small-scale rural deployments, and 3) adopting use of unlicensed “white space” frequencies for expanding lower cost rural coverage.

The Apps component focuses resources on gaining the value-add from the expanding access. Within this component the GBI program addresses two complementary elements.

Sector-Specific Applications – increasingly ICT solutions, specifically applications, are being built into USAID’s programs as an integrated element for delivering value to the target recipients. At this time there are a number of programs where Apps are a priority element, including health, education, agriculture, m-payment services, etc.

Shared and Cloud Solutions – with the growing Access and Apps, this element focuses on creating a portal to facilitate sharing of common solutions as well as supporting access to cloud-based services residing on the Internet.


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