The big broadband hope
INTERNET| Sept. 14, 2010, 3:47 p.m.
Global leaders and delegates from industry, civil rights agencies and UN agencies are meeting in Geneva under the auspices of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to discuss the acceleration of broadband networks worldwide and the benefits it can bring the developing world.
The delegates will present their report on a vision for accelerating deployment of broadband networks worldwide to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on September 19, ahead of the opening of the UN Millennium Development Goal Review Summit in New York.
ITU says in a statement that the final outcome report of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, which was established this year, includes a high-level declaration and series of recommendations designed to serve as a global blueprint for rapid broadband development in countries worldwide. The Commission believes broadband needs to be viewed as basic national infrastructure, and can play a vital role in re-energizing the Millennium Development Goals, now just five years away. The Commission says it aims to demonstrate that broadband networks have the same level of importance as roads and electricity networks.
The Commission notes that Millions of people cannot enjoy the benefits of broadband because they might be seen as unprofitable to construct, or access may be prohibitive. IT says in one report: “ Broadband subscriptions cost under 2.5 % of Gross National Income (GNI) per capita in the 40 most connected nations. But at the other end of the scale, in the 30 countries with the lowest level of broadband penetration, subscriptions cost over 100% of per-capita GNI.
And yet a report issued by the OECD in December 2009 suggests that broadband networks can pay for themselves within ten years, because of the savings made in delivering services.”
ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Toure has stated that broadband is about much more than surfing the web. “ In the 21st century, broadband networks are basic national infrastructure – just like transport, energy and water networks. As we move towards machine-to-machine communications – what we call ‘ The Internet of Things’ – these networks will underpin a vast number of services in areas like healthcare, education, energy management, transport systems, emergency services and much more. We must not regard broadband infrastructure as only for rich countries – or we will quickly create a new ‘ broadband divide’ . All people need direct and affordable access to this infrastructure, wherever they live,” he said.
The Commission comprises 58 leaders from across public and private sector. It is co-chaired by Rwandan President Paul Kagame and Carlos Slim Helú , Honorary Lifetime Chairman of Grupo Carso, with Hamadoun Touré and UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, serving as joint vice chairs.
MORE INTERNET NEWS
Airtel launches 4G in SeychellesAirtel Seychelles has launched one of Africa’s first state-of-the-art FD-LTE networks, to deliver best-in-class wireless broadband experience. Read More
AccessKenya in Kes 300m fibre investmentAccessKenya Group has completed the rollout of its metropolitan fibre network in key target areas around Nairobi and its environs. Read More
Malawi Internet costs drop with submarine connectivityMalawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL) has said the country’s Internet access is now 50 percent cheaper than it was five years ago. Read More
Congo’s Université Marien Ngouabi launches websiteL’Université Marien Ngouabi, Congo Brazzaville’s oldest tertiary institution, launched its first website this week. Read More
Internet of Things – when problems can be hidden in a billion placesIn the Internet of Things era all things can be connected. But when billions of things are connected, there are also billions of points of contact to sift through to identify faults, says Riverbed. Read More
Internet.org business plan a “race to the bottom” - 2goPartnerships between African operators and Facebook’s Internet.org app that make certain content free to subscribers is a “race to the bottom” which will shrink long-term revenues and hurt local content providers, according to Marc Herson, COO of mobile social network 2go. Read More
Liquid Telecom to launch FTTH services in Kenya, RwandaLiquid Telecom has announced it will launch Fibre To The Home (FTTH) in Kenya, Rwanda and two other African countries early next year. Read More
Rwanda officially launches 4G LTE networkRwanda has officially launched its 4G LTE network, aiming to take access to 95% of citizens by 2017. Read More
Submarine cable to be built across South AtlanticAngola Cables has signed a contract with NEC Corporation to build the world’s first submarine cable system across the South Atlantic. Read More
Inquest into politician’s death turns to satellite imagesAn inquest into the death of an opposition politician has seen the parties involved toying with the idea of using satellite image experts. Read More
FEATURED STORYGSMA: half a billion mobile subscribers in SSA by 2020
The number of unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will pass the half billion mark in 2020, says a new GSMA report.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.
COMPANY NEWSLeading through volatility in Africa
For the businesses that are prepared to face the storm and manage the volatility afflicting the continent, there are still huge rewards to be had from doing business ...