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Overview

Countries require a developed and scalable ICT infrastructure, to promote social, economic, and individual progress.

The situation of ICT infrastructure varies from one country to another. Most developing countries have the lowest levels of ICT infrastructure in the world. ICT can enable better access to government services, increased training opportunities through distance learning, delivery of healthcare services through telemedicine, improved literacy, and access to economic opportunities. These new uses of technology should be part of a country’s development strategy; investment in them is important to enhance a country’s standard of living.

Practice has proved the importance of some elements for achieving an adequate development of the Internet-based economy, which will be discussed throughout this course.

Click on the orange tabs above for course details, methodology, prerequisites, fees, and how to apply.

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Open for applications: 

Yes

Application deadline: 
Certificate: 30 June 2014
Start date: 
21 July 2014
Course code: 
IRL 5093
ECTS credits: 
9
Mode(s) of study: 
Credit - Certificate - Master/PGD
Course details

Countries require a developed and scalable ICT infrastructure, to promote social, economic, and individual progress.

The situation of ICT infrastructure varies from one country to another. Most developing countries have the lowest levels of ICT infrastructure in the world. ICT can enable better access to government services, increased training opportunities through distance learning, delivery of healthcare services through telemedicine, improved literacy, and access to economic opportunities. These new uses of technology should be part of a country’s development strategy; investment in them is important to enhance a country’s standard of living.

Practice has proved the importance of some elements for achieving an adequate development of the Internet-based economy, which will be discussed throughout this course.

By the end of the course, participants should be able to:

  • understand the overarching ICT infrastructure development issues, including wired and wireless infrastructure, and issues that account for ICT infrastructure development;
  • present the basic concepts and importance of Internet connection costs, and issues that account for differences in costs, including regulatory frameworks, discrepancies in international bandwidth costs, and costs of deployment;
  • explain the function of IP protocols, the reasons why upgrading to IPv6 is necessary, and the opportunities and challenges that accompany the new version;
  • describe the current debates on the regulatory framework and its importance to the Internet infrastructure to promote a more efficient ICT sector while promoting development and innovation.
  • discuss the concept of network neutrality, its importance for the Internet, and the current controversies surrounding the issue;
  • explain the DNS and the associated policy development systems, including the function of ICANN, the delegation of top level domains (TLDs), and their management by TLD Registries;
  • understand the role of IANA and other main actors in IP address allocation, domain name root-servers, the delegation/re-delegation process, and the complexities of some recent developments in the domain name industry.

The course forms part of the Thematic Phase of Diplo’s Internet Governance Capacity Building Programme (IGCBP). This phase offers in-depth courses that provide deeper understanding of a particular issue. Other courses forming part of this phase - which may run simultaneously or at a later date - include Cybersecurity, E-participation, History of Internet Governance, ICT Policy and Strategic Planning, Intellectual Property Rights, and Privacy and Personal Data Protection.

Excerpt from course materials

Since many big cities in developing countries now have a large number of towers supporting a wide range of different long-range wireless technologies (mainly mobile services Internet), these countries see the opportunity in wireless solutions. In such countries, cell phone penetration is high. Innovators and corporate leaders from some of the world’s leading technology firms have emphasised that bringing down the costs of Internet access could set off a wave of connectivity similar to that which has made mobile phone usage commonplace in developing countries. However, they also agree that making cost-efficient Internet available depends on a complex chain of on-the-ground realities such as strong connections to the global Internet infrastructure via sea cables and satellite systems, domestic connections such as Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), an array of competitive Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and a sound regulatory system that encourages fair competition and innovative business models.

Course outline

  • Introduction to Infrastructure Development introduces the concept that to promote social, economic, and individual progress, countries require a developed and scalable information and communications technologies (ICT) infrastructure. The introduction will offer an overview of Critical Internet Resource (CIR) issues and their relationship to ICT strategy.

  • ICT Technical Infrastructure Development explains the wired technical infrastructure development, the various wired broadband Internet access systems; mainly television cable networks, DSL lines and the various speeds it offers, optical fibres (FTTH), and broadband Internet over power lines, then turning to wireless technical infrastructure. Factors that promote the development of the ICT sector, opportunities offered to developing countries, low-density environments, and spectrum regulation are also discussed in this chapter.

  • Connection Costs analyses the opportunities that the Internet presents in creating new avenues for foreign investment, new markets, jobs, and customers, bridging the digital divide, the effect of Internet connection costs on regulatory frameworks, discrepancies in international bandwidth costs, and costs of deployment, which all play a part in this important topic.

  • Protocol Upgrades describes the function of IP addresses and the reasons the IPv4 version is in need of replacement. The chapter discusses the current situation, the new version of IP; called IPv6, and the opportunities and challenges that accompany it.

  • The regulatory framework analyses the need for an effective regulatory regime, fostering an efficient ICT sector which develops a solid ICT infrastructure, promotes innovation in products and services, and improves the quality and efficiency of service provision. The chapter also addresses the importance of establishing market, legal, and technical frameworks, as well as appropriate policies.

  • Network Neutrality explains network neutrality as the principle that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet. From a technical perspective, network neutrality implies that all IP packets should be treated more or less the same. The chapter details, for example, reasons and concerns that a network operator might use different treatment for IP packets associated with specific services, applications, destinations, or devices, and other facets of this controversial debate.

  • The Domain Name System (DNS) and ICANN explores the delegation of top level domains (TLDs) and their management by TLD Registries; the registration of second level domain names by registrants through domain name registrars and resellers. This chapter explains why the whole process requires policies that are developed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) within a bottom-up, consensus-driven, multi-stakeholder framework with various supporting organizations and advisory committees involved.

  • IANA, IDNs, and the Latest Developments in the Domain Name Industry describes  in-depth the role of IANA in IP address allocation, the domain name root-servers, the delegation/re-delegation process, and sheds some light on alternative root-servers (Alt Root). It also reviews the history of International Domain Names (IDNs), Unicode and Punycode, the IETF and IDNA2003, IDNA2008, and IDNA2010, the IDN ccTLD fast track process, and software issues with IDNs. It also presents some recent developments in the domain name industry, including discussions on .xxx, DNSSec, and the new gTLD program.

Reviews

The course includes intensive, inclusive and up-to-date information about the course subject and the references expand our knowledge. It shows and explains all the factors that are related to the course subject.

I think the course did well in covering several important areas in such a short time; it had a good scope. Additionally, I believe the focus of the course was also good, in that it clearly pointed out the various factors which developing countries must improve on in order to bridge the digital divide.

Who should apply

Diplo seeks applications from the following, from both developed and developing countries:

  • Officials in government ministries, departments, or institutions dealing with Information Society, Internet and ICT-related policy issues (e.g. telecommunications, education, foreign affairs, justice);
  • Postgraduate students, academics and researchers in the IG field (e.g. in telecommunications, electrical engineering, law, economics, development studies);
  • Civil society activists in the IG and Information Society fields;
  • Journalists covering IG issues; and
  • Individuals in Internet business-related fields (e.g. ISPs, software developers).

This course may also be of interest to:

  • Practising diplomats, civil servants, and others working in international relations who want to refresh or expand their knowledge of more technical issues, under the guidance of experienced practitioners and academics.
  • Postgraduate students of diplomacy or international relations wishing to study topics not offered through their university programmes or diplomatic academies and to gain deeper insight through interaction with practising diplomats.
Prerequisites

Applicants for the certificate course must have:

  • IG knowledge and/or experience of the multistakeholder approach in international affairs;
  • Either completed the course Introduction to Internet Governance, or have basic knowledge of Internet governance, and infrastructure;
  • Sufficient ability in the English language to undertake postgraduate level studies (including reading academic texts, discussing complex concepts with other course participants, and submitting written essay assignments);
  • Regular access to the Internet (dial-up connection is sufficient, although broadband is preferable);
  • A minimum of 7-8 hours commitment per week, and the readiness to participate in class online sessions (once a week at specified times).

In addition to the above, applicants for the accredited course must also meet University of Malta prerequisites:

  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject with at least Second Class Honours;
  • Proof of English language proficiency obtained within the last two years (minimum requirements TOEFL: paper-based – 650; Internet-based – 95. IELTS: 6.5. Cambridge: Proficiency Certificate with Grade C or better). If when applying you are still waiting for your English language proficiency results, the University may issue a conditional letter of acceptance.
Fees

Course fees depend on whether you wish to obtain university credit for the course:

  • €790 (University of Malta Accredited Course)
  • €650 (Diplo Certificate Course)

Applicants must pay full fees upon official acceptance into the course. The fee includes:

  • University of Malta application fee (for University of Malta Accredited Courses only)
  • Full tuition
  • Course orientation pack where applicable (optional readings)
  • Access to all course materials online, via Diplo’s online classroom
  • Access, via the Internet, to the University of Malta e-journal collection (University of Malta Accredited Courses only)
  • Personal interaction via the online classroom with course lecturers, staff and other participants
  • Online technical support
  • For Diplo Certificate Courses, postgraduate-level certificate issued by DiploFoundation on successful completion of course requirements (interaction and participation, all assignments)

Financial assistance

[New] A limited number of partial scholarships (maximum 20%) will be offered to participants from developing and emerging countries. Participants who would like to apply for financial assistance must upload the following documents with their application:

  • a CV or resumé;
  • a motivation letter outlining relevant professional and educational background, and interest in the course.

As Diplo's ability to offer scholarship support is limited, candidates are strongly encouraged to seek scholarship funding directly from local or international institutions. Our guide to Finding Scholarships for Online Study may provide you with some useful starting points.

 

How to apply

A number of routes for application are available:


Apply for a Diplo Certificate Course

Applicants for certificate courses should apply online.

If you are applying for financial assistance, please upload your CV and a motivation letter with your application. The motivation letter should include:

  • Details of your relevant professional and educational background.
  • Reasons for your interest in the course.
  • Why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this course: how will your participation benefit you, your institution and/or your country?

Please note that financial assistance from DiploFoundation is available only to applicants from developing countries. Late applications will be considered if there are spaces available in the course.



Apply for a University of Malta Accredited Course

Complete application packages must be received by specified application deadlines in order to be considered.

  1. Two copies of the University of Malta application form filled out in full (download form for overseas applicants; download form for applicants with Maltese qualifications).
  2. Certified copies of original degree(s) and official transcripts.
  3. English translations of degree(s) and transcripts if they are not in English, signed and stamped by translator.
  4. English language proficiency certificate obtained within the last two years (minimum requirements TOEFL: paper-based – 650; Internet-based – 95. IELTS: 6.5. Cambridge: Proficiency Certificate with Grade C or better). Please indicate on the application form if you are still waiting for your English language proficiency results.
  5. Photocopy of personal details pages of your passport.
  6. If you are requesting financial assistance, please include your CV and a motivation letter with your application. The motivation letter should include details of your relevant professional and educational background; reasons for your interest in the course; and why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this course: i.e. how will your participation benefit you, your institution and/or your country? Financial assistance from DiploFoundation is available only to applicants from developing countries.
  7. Application fee or proof of payment (€100 – non-refundable – see methods of payment).

Please mail complete application packages to the address at the bottom of the page.


Cancellation Policy

Diplo reserves the right to cancel this course if enrolment is insufficient. In case of cancellation, Diplo will notify applicants shortly after the application deadline. Applicants who have paid an application fee may apply this fee towards another course or receive a refund.

Print course info
Course details:

Countries require a developed and scalable ICT infrastructure, to promote social, economic, and individual progress.

The situation of ICT infrastructure varies from one country to another. Most developing countries have the lowest levels of ICT infrastructure in the world. ICT can enable better access to government services, increased training opportunities through distance learning, delivery of healthcare services through telemedicine, improved literacy, and access to economic opportunities. These new uses of technology should be part of a country’s development strategy; investment in them is important to enhance a country’s standard of living.

Practice has proved the importance of some elements for achieving an adequate development of the Internet-based economy, which will be discussed throughout this course.

By the end of the course, participants should be able to:

  • understand the overarching ICT infrastructure development issues, including wired and wireless infrastructure, and issues that account for ICT infrastructure development;
  • present the basic concepts and importance of Internet connection costs, and issues that account for differences in costs, including regulatory frameworks, discrepancies in international bandwidth costs, and costs of deployment;
  • explain the function of IP protocols, the reasons why upgrading to IPv6 is necessary, and the opportunities and challenges that accompany the new version;
  • describe the current debates on the regulatory framework and its importance to the Internet infrastructure to promote a more efficient ICT sector while promoting development and innovation.
  • discuss the concept of network neutrality, its importance for the Internet, and the current controversies surrounding the issue;
  • explain the DNS and the associated policy development systems, including the function of ICANN, the delegation of top level domains (TLDs), and their management by TLD Registries;
  • understand the role of IANA and other main actors in IP address allocation, domain name root-servers, the delegation/re-delegation process, and the complexities of some recent developments in the domain name industry.

The course forms part of the Thematic Phase of Diplo’s Internet Governance Capacity Building Programme (IGCBP). This phase offers in-depth courses that provide deeper understanding of a particular issue. Other courses forming part of this phase - which may run simultaneously or at a later date - include Cybersecurity, E-participation, History of Internet Governance, ICT Policy and Strategic Planning, Intellectual Property Rights, and Privacy and Personal Data Protection.

Excerpt from course materials

Since many big cities in developing countries now have a large number of towers supporting a wide range of different long-range wireless technologies (mainly mobile services Internet), these countries see the opportunity in wireless solutions. In such countries, cell phone penetration is high. Innovators and corporate leaders from some of the world’s leading technology firms have emphasised that bringing down the costs of Internet access could set off a wave of connectivity similar to that which has made mobile phone usage commonplace in developing countries. However, they also agree that making cost-efficient Internet available depends on a complex chain of on-the-ground realities such as strong connections to the global Internet infrastructure via sea cables and satellite systems, domestic connections such as Internet Exchange Points (IXPs), an array of competitive Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and a sound regulatory system that encourages fair competition and innovative business models.

Course outline

  • Introduction to Infrastructure Development introduces the concept that to promote social, economic, and individual progress, countries require a developed and scalable information and communications technologies (ICT) infrastructure. The introduction will offer an overview of Critical Internet Resource (CIR) issues and their relationship to ICT strategy.

  • ICT Technical Infrastructure Development explains the wired technical infrastructure development, the various wired broadband Internet access systems; mainly television cable networks, DSL lines and the various speeds it offers, optical fibres (FTTH), and broadband Internet over power lines, then turning to wireless technical infrastructure. Factors that promote the development of the ICT sector, opportunities offered to developing countries, low-density environments, and spectrum regulation are also discussed in this chapter.

  • Connection Costs analyses the opportunities that the Internet presents in creating new avenues for foreign investment, new markets, jobs, and customers, bridging the digital divide, the effect of Internet connection costs on regulatory frameworks, discrepancies in international bandwidth costs, and costs of deployment, which all play a part in this important topic.

  • Protocol Upgrades describes the function of IP addresses and the reasons the IPv4 version is in need of replacement. The chapter discusses the current situation, the new version of IP; called IPv6, and the opportunities and challenges that accompany it.

  • The regulatory framework analyses the need for an effective regulatory regime, fostering an efficient ICT sector which develops a solid ICT infrastructure, promotes innovation in products and services, and improves the quality and efficiency of service provision. The chapter also addresses the importance of establishing market, legal, and technical frameworks, as well as appropriate policies.

  • Network Neutrality explains network neutrality as the principle that Internet users should be in control of what content they view and what applications they use on the Internet. From a technical perspective, network neutrality implies that all IP packets should be treated more or less the same. The chapter details, for example, reasons and concerns that a network operator might use different treatment for IP packets associated with specific services, applications, destinations, or devices, and other facets of this controversial debate.

  • The Domain Name System (DNS) and ICANN explores the delegation of top level domains (TLDs) and their management by TLD Registries; the registration of second level domain names by registrants through domain name registrars and resellers. This chapter explains why the whole process requires policies that are developed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) within a bottom-up, consensus-driven, multi-stakeholder framework with various supporting organizations and advisory committees involved.

  • IANA, IDNs, and the Latest Developments in the Domain Name Industry describes  in-depth the role of IANA in IP address allocation, the domain name root-servers, the delegation/re-delegation process, and sheds some light on alternative root-servers (Alt Root). It also reviews the history of International Domain Names (IDNs), Unicode and Punycode, the IETF and IDNA2003, IDNA2008, and IDNA2010, the IDN ccTLD fast track process, and software issues with IDNs. It also presents some recent developments in the domain name industry, including discussions on .xxx, DNSSec, and the new gTLD program.

Reviews

The course includes intensive, inclusive and up-to-date information about the course subject and the references expand our knowledge. It shows and explains all the factors that are related to the course subject.

I think the course did well in covering several important areas in such a short time; it had a good scope. Additionally, I believe the focus of the course was also good, in that it clearly pointed out the various factors which developing countries must improve on in order to bridge the digital divide.

Who should apply:

Diplo seeks applications from the following, from both developed and developing countries:

  • Officials in government ministries, departments, or institutions dealing with Information Society, Internet and ICT-related policy issues (e.g. telecommunications, education, foreign affairs, justice);
  • Postgraduate students, academics and researchers in the IG field (e.g. in telecommunications, electrical engineering, law, economics, development studies);
  • Civil society activists in the IG and Information Society fields;
  • Journalists covering IG issues; and
  • Individuals in Internet business-related fields (e.g. ISPs, software developers).

This course may also be of interest to:

  • Practising diplomats, civil servants, and others working in international relations who want to refresh or expand their knowledge of more technical issues, under the guidance of experienced practitioners and academics.
  • Postgraduate students of diplomacy or international relations wishing to study topics not offered through their university programmes or diplomatic academies and to gain deeper insight through interaction with practising diplomats.
Methodology:

This course is conducted online over a period of ten weeks, including one week of classroom orientation, eight weeks of dynamic class content and activities, and one week for the final assignment. Reading materials and tools for online interaction are provided through an online classroom. Each week, participants read the provided lecture texts, adding comments, references, and questions in the form of hypertext entries. The tutor and other participants read and respond to these entries, creating interaction based on the lecture text. During the week, participants complete additional online activities (e.g. further discussion via blogs or forums or quizzes). At the end of the week, participants and tutors meet online in a chat room to discuss the week’s topic.

Courses are based on a collaborative approach to learning, involving a high level of interaction. This course requires a minimum of 7-8 hours of study time per week.

Participants are invited to join Diplo’s global Internet governance online community of over 1,400 members, and to attend monthly webinars and other IG-related events and activities.

The course materials, the e-learning platform, and the working language of the course is English. Applicants should consider whether their reading and writing skills in English are sufficient to follow postgraduate level materials and discussion.

Prerequisites:

Applicants for the certificate course must have:

  • IG knowledge and/or experience of the multistakeholder approach in international affairs;
  • Either completed the course Introduction to Internet Governance, or have basic knowledge of Internet governance, and infrastructure;
  • Sufficient ability in the English language to undertake postgraduate level studies (including reading academic texts, discussing complex concepts with other course participants, and submitting written essay assignments);
  • Regular access to the Internet (dial-up connection is sufficient, although broadband is preferable);
  • A minimum of 7-8 hours commitment per week, and the readiness to participate in class online sessions (once a week at specified times).

In addition to the above, applicants for the accredited course must also meet University of Malta prerequisites:

  • Bachelor's degree in a relevant subject with at least Second Class Honours;
  • Proof of English language proficiency obtained within the last two years (minimum requirements TOEFL: paper-based – 650; Internet-based – 95. IELTS: 6.5. Cambridge: Proficiency Certificate with Grade C or better). If when applying you are still waiting for your English language proficiency results, the University may issue a conditional letter of acceptance.
Fees:

Course fees depend on whether you wish to obtain university credit for the course:

  • €790 (University of Malta Accredited Course)
  • €650 (Diplo Certificate Course)

Applicants must pay full fees upon official acceptance into the course. The fee includes:

  • University of Malta application fee (for University of Malta Accredited Courses only)
  • Full tuition
  • Course orientation pack where applicable (optional readings)
  • Access to all course materials online, via Diplo’s online classroom
  • Access, via the Internet, to the University of Malta e-journal collection (University of Malta Accredited Courses only)
  • Personal interaction via the online classroom with course lecturers, staff and other participants
  • Online technical support
  • For Diplo Certificate Courses, postgraduate-level certificate issued by DiploFoundation on successful completion of course requirements (interaction and participation, all assignments)

Financial assistance

[New] A limited number of partial scholarships (maximum 20%) will be offered to participants from developing and emerging countries. Participants who would like to apply for financial assistance must upload the following documents with their application:

  • a CV or resumé;
  • a motivation letter outlining relevant professional and educational background, and interest in the course.

As Diplo's ability to offer scholarship support is limited, candidates are strongly encouraged to seek scholarship funding directly from local or international institutions. Our guide to Finding Scholarships for Online Study may provide you with some useful starting points.

 

How to apply:

A number of routes for application are available:


Apply for a Diplo Certificate Course

Applicants for certificate courses should apply online.

If you are applying for financial assistance, please upload your CV and a motivation letter with your application. The motivation letter should include:

  • Details of your relevant professional and educational background.
  • Reasons for your interest in the course.
  • Why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this course: how will your participation benefit you, your institution and/or your country?

Please note that financial assistance from DiploFoundation is available only to applicants from developing countries. Late applications will be considered if there are spaces available in the course.



Apply for a University of Malta Accredited Course

Complete application packages must be received by specified application deadlines in order to be considered.

  1. Two copies of the University of Malta application form filled out in full (download form for overseas applicants; download form for applicants with Maltese qualifications).
  2. Certified copies of original degree(s) and official transcripts.
  3. English translations of degree(s) and transcripts if they are not in English, signed and stamped by translator.
  4. English language proficiency certificate obtained within the last two years (minimum requirements TOEFL: paper-based – 650; Internet-based – 95. IELTS: 6.5. Cambridge: Proficiency Certificate with Grade C or better). Please indicate on the application form if you are still waiting for your English language proficiency results.
  5. Photocopy of personal details pages of your passport.
  6. If you are requesting financial assistance, please include your CV and a motivation letter with your application. The motivation letter should include details of your relevant professional and educational background; reasons for your interest in the course; and why you feel you should have the opportunity to participate in this course: i.e. how will your participation benefit you, your institution and/or your country? Financial assistance from DiploFoundation is available only to applicants from developing countries.
  7. Application fee or proof of payment (€100 – non-refundable – see methods of payment).

Please mail complete application packages to the address at the bottom of the page.


Cancellation Policy

Diplo reserves the right to cancel this course if enrolment is insufficient. In case of cancellation, Diplo will notify applicants shortly after the application deadline. Applicants who have paid an application fee may apply this fee towards another course or receive a refund.