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News & insights

Date: November 2023 | Client: The World Bank | Sector: Communications, media & payment systems | Expertise: Public policy & strategy

Using reverse auctions for allocating public subsidies to promote mobile broadband coverage

CEPA's report "Allocating universal service subsidies using multi round reverse auctions: Telecommunications in Tanzania", was delivered to The World Bank in October 2022 and presented to the Tanzania government in November 2022. It is now available to download from The World Bank website. It was prepared by a team led by Dr Chris Doyle, CEPA's Head of Telecoms.

Exploring the use of more innovative and transparent procurement techniques, such as interactive auction platforms for the allocation of universal service awards, the report recommends the deployment of a pilot multi-round reverse auction for disbursing funds extending rural broadband coverage. This would supplement, and perhaps eventually replace the current method of allocating subsidies which relies on a single round, blind bid approach administered by UCSAF. The report also provides a roadmap suggesting how best to conduct a pilot.

The project was undertaken in close collaboration with the Universal Communication Services Access Fund (UCSAF) and the Ministry of Information, Communications and Information Technology (MICIT) in Tanzania. However, although the specific case study is for mobile broadband awards in Tanzania, the concepts that are explored could easily be applied to other universal service infrastructure (such as fibre or satellite) and in other countries.

To find out more, please contact our experts listed below.

Chris Doyle
Head of Telecoms United Kingdom