The Liberia Telecommunications Authority is one step closer, to acquiring the much coveted, spectrum monitoring equipment used to monitor spectrum activity and strengthen its ability to respond to frequency interference complaints.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed Wednesday between the United States Agency for International Development, (USAID) and the LTA under which USAID intends to provide financial and procurement support for the acquisition of spectrum monitoring equipment.
The independent U.S. federal government agency also intends to provide acquisition and technical support through its primary implementing partner NetHope and stands ready to facilitate the training of LTA staff in the use and maintenance of the equipment. USAID Mission Director Dr. Anthony Chan said he was satisfied with the national regulators performance during the past year.
In a detailed document outlining the collaborative participation of the two entities, strengthening Liberia’s access to and use of modern information and communications technologies to improve government performance, effectiveness and accountability is at the core. A major USAID concern, unrelated to spectrum equipment is a call to develop Open Access wholesale broadband infrastructure provisions for licensed operators at fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.
Signing on behalf of the Government of Liberia, LTA’s Chairperson Angelique Weeks stressed how urgently the equipment is needed. Presently LTA regulates the airwaves administratively through manual field inspections, which is a long tedious process. According to an LTA field study done a few years ago, government was losing approximately half a million U.S. dollars in potential revenue annually due to the illegal use of national spectrum just in the greater Monrovia area.
The key point of contact in the LTA for the memorandum of Understanding will be Engineering Commissioner Henry Benson. Implementation will include an informal steering committee to review and approve the technology, capacity building, policy formulation and implementation.