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Regulation for better broadband in the spotlight

The11th ITU Global Symposium for Regulators opened this week in the Colombian city of Armenia, with a focus on “Smart regulation for a broadband world”.

The Global Symposium for Regulators (GSR) 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.

During the week, GSR participants will focus their attention on innovative regulatory measures needed to promote the roll out of broadband and address the complexities and challenges of the broadband ecosystem.

Opening the symposium, the Minister of Information and Communication Technology of Colombia, Diego Molano said: “The presence in our country of representatives from 192 Member States of ITU is a recognition of the efforts we have been doing in Colombia for the technology that will reach all citizens and become an effective tool to reduce poverty, create employment and achieve prosperity.”

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré noted during a panel discussion that increased access to the Internet – and broadband in particular – allows for the delivery of more effective services to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

“I am convinced that broadband will go the way of mobile cellular telephony and become virtually ubiquitous in the next decade or so, even though two thirds of the world’s people are still offline,” said Touré.

“This will only change when broadband becomes more affordable – and the world’s regulators meeting at GSR-11 can facilitate this by advocating a combination of increased capacity and competition.”

Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, noted that remarkable achievements have been made over the last fifteen years that have placed the telecom sector and ICTs at the centre of today’s digital economy. He added that more needs to be done to connect the unconnected, increase digital literacy and ensure developing countries are not excluded from the digital economy and the broadband world.

Best Practice Guidelines will be agreed by regulators and policy makers attending GSR-11 to identify smart regulatory measures, strategies and plans to ensure that all citizens can benefit from the new applications, services and business opportunities in a broadband world.

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