ITU sets new broadband targets for global telecom markets

announced that the Broadband Commission for Digital Development has agreed on a
set of four ambitious but achievable new targets that countries around the
world should strive to meet in order to ensure their populations fully
participate in tomorrow’s emerging knowledge societies.

The new
targets cover broadband policy, affordability and uptake:

  1. Making
    broadband policy universal. By 2015, all countries should have a national
    broadband plan or strategy or include broadband in their Universal Access
    / Service Definitions.
  2. Making
    broadband affordable. By 2015, entry-level broadband services should be
    made affordable in developing countries through adequate regulation and
    market forces. For example, amount to less than 5 percent of average
    monthly income.
  3. Connecting
    homes to broadband. By 2015, 40 percent of households in developing
    countries should have Internet access.
  4. Getting
    people online. By 2015, Internet user penetration should reach 60 percent
    worldwide, 50 percent in developing countries and 15 percent in least
    developed countries.

targets are ambitious but achievable, given the political will and commitment
on the part of governments, working in partnership with the private sector,”
said Hamadoun Touré, ITU secretary-general, who serves as co-vice chair of the
Commission alongside UNESCO director-general Irina Bokova.

Commission is co-chaired by president Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Carlos Slim Helú,
chairman and CEO of Telmex and América Movíl.

ITU will
undertake responsibility for measuring each country’s progress towards the
targets, producing an annual broadband report with rankings of nations
worldwide in terms of broadband policy, affordability and uptake.

broadband challenge endorsed by the Commission recognizes communication as a
human need and a right, and calls on governments and private industry to work
together to develop the innovative policy frameworks, business models and
financing arrangements needed to facilitate growth in access to broadband

It urges
governments to avoid limiting market entry and taxing ICT services
unnecessarily to enable broadband markets to realize their full growth
potential, and encourages governments to promote coordinated international
standards for interoperability and to address the availability of adequate
radio frequency spectrum.

“We note the
importance of the guiding principles of fair competition for promoting
broadband access to all,” it reads. “It is essential to review legislative and
regulatory frameworks, many of which are inherited from the last century, to
ensure the free and unhindered flow of information in the new virtual,
hyper-connected world.”

Challenge stresses the need to stimulate content production in local languages
and enhance local capacity to benefit from, and contribute to, the digital

The fourth
meeting of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development was held just prior
to the Broadband Leadership Summit, which welcomed over 250 government and
industry leaders from around the world to exchange views on the challenges and
opportunities of a future built on broadband.

By Team
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