Brought to you as a public service of the Open Spectrum Foundation (Stichting Open Spectrum), Amsterdam - Prague
Right after the earthquake: "How to Deploy Long-Distance WiFi in Haiti," by Wayan Vota, Inveneo.org, 2 February 2010: "...As you can see from the network diagram above, Inveneo's long-distance WiFi links connecting NetHope member organizations is starting to be far-reaching. Inveneo engineers Mark Summer and Andris Bjornson have been able to bring high-speed Internet access - critical communication capacity - to eleven relief agency locations with minimal equipment and installation time. Our long-distance WiFi network has made huge improvements in connectivity for NetHope member organizations. Our long-distance WiFi network has made huge improvements in connectivity for NetHope member organizations. Some had no connectivity before. Others had limited connectivity, like a 160 kbit connection that jumped to 1.6 Mbit... These leaps in access have immediate impact when 20-100 people are sharing bandwidth at each location. International staff are able to make high-quality Skype video calls when before even voice calls were next to impossible, cutting resupply and rebuilding times by weeks or months. We want to do more than just build out physical infrastructure; we also want to build the human capacity of local Haitian companies. Eventually, we hope they can deploy these technologies themselves, expanding the benefits of ICT beyond Inveneo's direct reach..."
"Loi sur les télécommunications" (1977) in French . "Radiocommunications" are covered by Articles 114-116. Article 116 indicates that in Haiti, the radio spectrum is treated as part of the "public domain" - not as government property - with "interference protection zones" established only when justified by "technical conditions":
"Quand les conditions techniques le justifient, on établit de zones de protection contre tout type de pertubations qui risquent de gêner les radiocommunications; s'il n'existe pas de très grandes possibilités pour résoudre le problème, on peut toujours limiter le droit d'utilisation du domaine public..."
(When technical conditions justify it, zones of protection are established against any kind of interference which is likely to obstruct the radiocommunications; if there are not very great possibilities to solve the problem, one can always limit the right of use of the public domain...)
However, Article 115 sets a more traditional tone:
"Les permis d'utilisations des fréquences sont accordées dans chaque bande conformément aux dispositions des conventions internationales et règlements nationaux..."
(Licences to use frequencies are granted in each band in accordance with the provisions of international conventions and national regulations...)
"Alternative Paths to Internet Infrastructure: The Case of Haiti" by Jon M. Peha (1999) - at the time this was written, the author says Haiti allowed ISPs to build unlicensed wireless networks using any frequency and power output so long as they shared their income with the spectrum regulator. Peha explores the advantages and disadvantages of such an unregulated system.
"...spectrum is not controlled by Conatel [the regulatory agency] exclusively, but by Teleco [the national telephone monopoly] with the approval of Conatel... The regulatory agency, CONATEL, frankly admits its inability to control Teleco [and] manage the spectrum... With World Bank support, a French firm, Gide-Loyrette Nouel (GLN), is in the last stages of its study of CONATEL's reorganization..." ---"Haiti IED Assessment," by Roxanne McElevane, Richard Kerby and Edward M. Malloy, US Agency for International Development, 1999.