The big broadband hope
INTERNETBy BiztechAfrica - 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
Virtualisation ‘frees up innovation budget’Virtualisation allows for the ICT budget to shift its focus from maintenance to innovation – a benefit that is resonating with CIOs across the continent, says Ravi Bhat, VMWare’s new Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa. Read More
Safaricom revamps site for the visually impairedSafaricom has launched a revamped corporate website that will be fully accessible to Visually Impaired Persons. Read More
SEACOM partners with Akamai TechnologiesSEACOM has announced a new partnership with cloud service provider Akamai Technologies, and is deploying Akamai content clusters and caching nodes on its Pan-African IP network footprint. Read More
Online nutrition calculator aims to boost kids’ healthNestlé Kenya, through its MILO brand, has unveiled a web based nutrition calculator to help foster healthy nutrition among kids. Read More
Mozambique joins Alliance for Affordable InternetMozambique has become the first SADC country to join A4AI, and the third developing country to sign an MOU with the Alliance, joining Nigeria and Ghana. Read More
Intelsat managed broadband service for VodacomIntelsat is to provide a managed broadband service to Vodacom in sub-Saharan Africa. Read More
ICANN, ZACR sign landmark dotAfrica agreementThe May 2014 commercial launch of dotAfrica is now a fait accompli with the signing of the final outstanding paperwork today. Read More
ITU: Broadband can solve global development gapBroadband must be recognised as the vital development enabler in post-2015 UN Sustainable Development framework, says a Dublin meeting of the UN Broadband Commission. Read More
UBA Kenya Bank mulls listing, launches virtual savingsUBA Kenya Bank has announced in launching its virtual savings account that it is considering listing on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. Read More
FEATURED STORYKenyan shift to Green Economy would generate USD 45bn by 2030
Kenya’s transition to a green economy could produce major economic benefits equivalent to an estimated USD 45 billion by 2030, a new study shows.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHE-waste threatens Ghana’s beaches
Many beaches in Ghana, already stressed by pollution and poor maintenance, are now facing a new threat: e-waste.
COMPANY NEWSFurther African expansion for Phoenix
Phoenix Distribution, a leading broad-based distributor on the African continent, has expanded its office in Nairobi, Kenya, in a move to better serve its partners in East ...