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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Commission seeks new broadband deal

Arising from its 2017 Spring Meeting in Hong Kong, SAR of China, the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development reiterated commitment for concrete actions that will spur the roll-out of broadband around the world, as a new deal needed, reports ITRealms.

Currently, ITRealms gathered that some 5 billion people are without mobile broadband access, which entails that the paths to access digital services and applications are presently blocked for much of the world's population, thereby holding back progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Co-Chair of the United Nations (UN) Broadband Commission, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, gave this hint at the end of the meeting, underscoring the need for a new deal between all broadband stakeholders, stressing this will bring about roundly debate, bringing renewed commitment to work towards full global connectivity and digital transformation.
The Commission emphasised on remote and rural areas, especially to support Least Developed Countries, which represent the biggest challenge and where barriers to access also need to be viewed through the prism of affordability and content, notably local and multi-lingual content. 

"ICT and broadband are linking everyone and everything for the betterment of economies and societies. We are motivated by wanting to have the global community connected, especially the billions of unconnected.  We will succeed when we work together: government, industry and civil society leaders," he said. 

For the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and co-Vice Chair of the Broadband Commission, Mr. Houlin Zhao, noted that "Our central conviction is that broadband and ICTs are critical if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. ICTs underpin vital achievements and modern services in many sectors, and governments and industry must increasingly work together to create the conditions so badly needed to facilitate the growth of broadband for sustainable development."

The 2030 Agenda provided the context for discussion, as Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General and co-Vice Chair of the Broadband Commission, equally noted "The framework for all our work is the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. We must ensure the digital revolution is a revolution for human rights and promote technological breakthroughs as development breakthroughs."

Nonye Dom/GEE

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Pix: Co-Chair of the United Nations (UN) Broadband Commission, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda

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