Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) was established through the Communications Regulatory Authority Act, 2012 (CRA Act) on the 1st of April 2013 to regulate the communications sector in Botswana, comprising telecommunications, Internet and Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs), radio communications, broadcasting, postal services and related matters.
The CRA Act replaced the Broadcasting Act [Cap 72:04], the Telecommunications Act [Cap 72:03], and caused the amendment of the Postal Services Act to create a converged or an integrated regulatory authority for the communications industry.
The BOCRA takes the lead in areas that drive the advancement of the communications sector with the ultimate goal to drive the development of and enable universal access to enhanced services, economic opportunities, employment creation and sustainable growth necessary for the achievement of a Digitally Connected Society. To achieve this goal, BOCRA will pursue six key success factors or strategic pillars as follows:
- Universal Access and Service;
- Consumer Protection;
- Resource Optimisation;
- Talent Management; and
- Stakeholder Engagement.
The Government of Botswana through the then Ministry of Communications Science and Technology (MCST) has mandated the BOCRA to perform the regulatory and administrative functions for the registration of the .bw domain name. The Ministry further mandated that;
- to identify the needs,concerns and interest of internet community;
- to promote the objectives of a fair level playing field and provide regular reports and updates to stakeholders,
- to give specialist advice where appropriate and to consider and recommend strategies for the continuation and development of the ccTLD, and;
- to represent the country in regional and international meetings concerning ccTLD as and when required.
As part of the TAC composition requirements from the BOCRA, a chairperson and the vice-chairperson were chosen among the members to facilitate the meetings of the TAC. In line with promoting team effectiveness, the TAC decides to establish two sub-committees to work on policy formulation and public awareness strategy. The two sub-committees, namely Policy Sub-Committee (BTC, Law Society, BTA, BISPA and DIT as members) and Public Awareness Sub-Committee (BITS, DIT, UB and BOCRA as members) meet at different times to that of the TAC meeting to work on their objectives.
The growth of telecommunications services especially mobile telephony, since 1996 has led to the worldwide proliferation of telecommunications infrastructure across towns, cities and the countryside. This proliferation has led to negative visual impacts on the cityscape and landscape as they have no respect to important aesthetic/scenic views and amenity of both the built and natural environments.
In view thereof, the BOCRA in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Affairs and the public telecommunications operators has established guidelines to facilitate the sharing of all the passive elements of the communications infrastructure among operators.
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