Best practice on broadband adopted

The ITU Global Symposium for Regulators in Colombia has closed with the adoption of Best Practice Guidelines aimed at advancing the deployment of broadband connectivity worldwide.

In an era in which broadband is increasingly considered the right of every citizen, “smart” regulation was advocated to encourage greater openness and use of incentive dynamics to mitigate the challenges and threats posed by a rapidly changing ICT landscape.

Addressing the Symposium in Armenia City, President of the Republic of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, said that the theme, ‘Smart Regulation for a Broadband World’ was very appropriate.

“Smart regulation is precisely what we need,” President Santos affirmed while noting that ICTs contribute to the productive infrastructure of a nation. “Taking advantage of broadband as a source of productivity and growth, we can identify the most appropriate solutions to reduce our productivity gap as efficiently as possible.”

“Increased access to the Internet – and broadband in particular – will allow us to more effectively deliver services to meet the Millennium Development Goals, as e-applications such as e-health, e-education, and e-governance are able to reach even the remotest corners of the world,” ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré explained to the Press in Armenia City.

“But this will only change when broadband becomes more affordable – and the world’s regulators meeting here in Colombia can facilitate this by advocating a combination of increased capacity and competition.”

The Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR), held annually in different regions worldwide, aims at fostering constructive exchange of information among national regulatory authorities and is a unique forum to share regulatory best practices at the global level. Held for the first time in Latin America, the eleventh GSR focused on innovative regulatory measures to promote the roll out of broadband globally.

As many as 504 participants attended, including 243 representatives from 72 countries and Palestine. In addition, 261 representatives from 42 public and private sector companies as well as regional and international organizations participated.

Examining the complexities of the broadband ecosystem, GSR participants focused their attention on:
1.    M-banking services and the role of regulators
2.    Wireless broadband spectrum pricing
3.    Satellite regulation
4.    Open access regulation
5.    Setting national broadband policies, strategies and plans
6.    Financing universal access/service
7.    E-waste and recycling and the role of regulators
8.    Protecting rights, such as intellectual property, of all stakeholders in a digital ecosystem
9.    Regional initiatives to foster broadband connectivity
GSR discussion papers on these issues are posted on the GSR-11 website and will be published in the next edition of Trends in Telecommunication Reform.

“We have seen over the years how regulatory reform plays an essential role in creating an environment where new technologies can flourish and be shared by all,” ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau Director Brahima Sanou said. “The development of robust and flexible regulatory frameworks can help developing countries leapfrog technologies and make the best use of new developments in ICTs”.

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