The big broadband hope


Image: Paul Kagame, Hamadoun Toure and Carlos Slim. By ITU
Paul Kagame, Hamadoun Toure and Carlos Slim

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.

Share the News

Get Daily Newsletter

comments powered by Disqus


Alcatel-Lucent to deliver submarine broadband connectivity to oil and gas facilities off Angola

Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks, the undersea cables subsidiary of Alcatel-Lucent, has been awarded the development of the Sonangol Offshore Optical Cable (SOOC). Read More

MTN excels in NCA data quality tests

MTN has distinguished itself as the most reliable data service provider in Ghana, according to the results of Quality of Service data monitoring tests released by the National Communications Authority.  Read More

More institutions benefit from Airtel’s free internet connectivity

Airtel connected a further five learning institutions and one Police Station to the internet for free this week, bringing the number of institutions Airtel has connected for free to over 150.  Read More

Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicações Moçambique selects Intelsat to extend broadband services

Empresa Nacional de Telecomunicações de Moçambique has renewed its relationship with Intelsat S.A. for satellite solutions that will help the company deliver broadband connectivity to corporate networks and provide cellular backhaul services to support remote areas of Mozambique. Read More

MTN invests R1.2 billion to fund network upgrades in Kwa-Zulu Natal

MTN South Africa is investing about R1.2 billion to upgrade its network in Kwa-Zulu Natal, which includes the deployment of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) in the scenic suburb La Lucia. Read More

Teraco interconnects Africa to the world’s financial markets

Teraco has announced a new fibre link that provides capital market participants with the reliable, high-bandwidth and high-speed connectivity required to transport critical financial data. Read More

Facebook’s mobile momentum grows in Africa

Facebook has shared new statistics revealing that 2.2 million Kenyans use Facebook every day and 4.5 million each month, while 7.1 million Nigerians use Facebook daily and 15 million are active every month.  Almost all these people are coming to Facebook on a mobile device. Read More launches free audio conferencing in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa

The world’s largest free conference calling service is looking to grow its user base in Africa while creating new partnerships with the African carrier community. Read More

Smile closes USD365m financing to accelerate 4G LTE network expansion in Africa

Smile Telecoms Holdings Ltd, which owns and operates mobile wireless 4G LTE broadband networks in the 800MHz band in Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda, announced that it raised USD365 million of debt and equity financing. Read More

A4AI names Omobola Johnson as new chair

The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) has appointed the immediate past Minister of Communication Technology of Nigeria, Dr. Omobola Johnson, as its Honorary Chairperson.   Read More


Sage ERP AfricaSAP AfricaSage Pastel AccountingTrust PayVMWareSamsung ElectronicsMitsumi DistributionPhoenix DistributionMTN BusinessSchneider ElectricMultichoiceMicrosoft 4Afrika


Innovative designer takes e-waste to another levelInnovative designer takes e-waste to another level

Gladys Muyenzelwa is a Gaborone based artist and designer who has an eye for ethnic and contemporary design. But unlike other designers, Muyenzelwa has found a way of using e-waste to make her creations. 


High tech homes: Just press playHigh tech homes: Just press play

High tech, digital homes where everything is automated and connected aren’t the stuff of science fiction any longer, says BNC Technology.


Luba Freeport streamlines its sea of paper with Sage X3

Luba Freeport has implemented the Finance and Distribution modules of the Sage X3 business management solution to automate its business processes across finance and operations.