CONNECTING THE UNCONNECTED

First WCIT-12 Resolution approved and applauded

wcit-12-delegatesIt was heartening and appropriate that the first Resolution to be approved during the landmark WCIT-12 was all about connecting those who are still not connected.

It was a Resolution aimed at fast-tracking connectivity for landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing states (SIDSs) and represents very well the real focus of WCIT-12 as well as ITU’s digital inclusion mandate.

Virtually every facet of modern life depends on information and communication technologies.

ITU is at the very heart of the ICT sector, brokering agreement on technologies, services, and the allocation of global resources to create a seamless global communications system that’s robust, reliable, and constantly evolving.

This is part of ITU’s vision and mandate to connect the world and World Conference on International Telecommunications (#WCIT12) presents a unique opportunity to further this aim.

The first Resolution that has been passed at WCIT-12 by ITU Member States comes from Ad Hoc Group 3 of the Plenary and refers to special measures for landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing states (SIDSs) for access to international optical fibre networks.

Increased access to fibre optic networks plays a fundamental role in the exponential growth and rollout of broadband connectivity – essential for connection online and vital if we are to seriously advance towards real digital inclusion.

What is the Resolution all about?

The newly agreed Resolution reaffirms the right of access for landlocked countries to the sea and freedom of passage through the territory of transit countries by all means of transport, in accordance with applicable rules of international law.

These transit countries, in the exercise of their full sovereignty over their territory, have the right to take all measures necessary to ensure that the rights and facilities provided for landlocked countries in no way infringe upon their legitimate interests and also recognize the importance of telecommunications and new information and communication technologies (ICTs) to the development of LLDCs and SIDSs.

The Resolution agreed to at WCIT-12 resolves to instruct me, as the Director of theTelecommunication Development Bureau, to study the special situation of telecommunication/ICT services in the LLDCs and SIDSs, taking into account the importance of access to international fibre optic networks at reasonable costs as well as to report to the ITU Council on measures taken with respect to the assistance provided to LLDCs and SIDSs.

ITU Secretary-General, Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré has also been mandated to bring this new Resolution to the attention of the Secretary-General of the United Nations – Ban Ki-moon – with a view of placing this on the agenda of the United Nations High Representative for the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDSs.

The Resolution passed at WCIT-12 also invites the ITU Council and Member States to cooperate with LLDCs and SIDSs to take appropriate measures to ensure that the Union continues to collaborate actively in the development of telecommunication/ICT services in LLDCs and SIDSs as well assisting these countries in executing telecommunication infrastructure integration projects and programs.

The approved Resolution was unanimously supported by ITU Member States in the true spirit of consensus of ITU – And this lies at the heart of our mission in ITU and particularly its Development Sector, representing all nations no matter their circumstances, and working hard to achieve digital inclusion so that everyone can reap the enormous socio-economic benefits from being truly connected.

sanou-blogMr. Brahima Sanou is Director of the ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau

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ITU Yearbook of Statistics

YB2012_webThe 38th edition of the ITU Yearbook of Statistics was published in December, 2012. The Yearbook of Statistics 2012 shows the evolution of telecommunication sector, the availability of ICTs in households and the usage of ICTs by individuals for some 190 economies worldwide. Data tables cover the time period 2002-2011. The updated version of the World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Database was also released.

Global ICT Forum on Human Capacity Development

• ITU Global ICT Forum on Human Capacity Development takes place in Cape Town, South Africa: 22-25 October 2012

The ITU Global ICT Forum on Human Capacity Development (HCD) took place from 22-25 October 2012, in the scenic city of Cape Town, South Africa. The theme of the Forum was “Digital Inclusion: Transition from Analogue to Digital Broadcasting”. The event attracted approximately 282 delegates from 56 countries.

The Forum was a high-level event which brought together various experts, including high-level officials, policymakers, regulators, non-governmental organisations, academia and private sector. These experts came from a broad range of areas such as telecommunications, human capacity development, education, business, management, and informatics. They exchanged useful experiences and discussed the capacity building challenges of transitioning to digital broadcasting and how to address these challenges. Delegates also discussed country case studies on the transition issue, in particular regarding human capacity development.

The event was hosted by the Department of Communications of the Republic of South Africa, under its eSkills Institute, and Telkom South Africa. The eSkills Institute used the Forum to host its 2nd, national e-Skills Summit, which drew many delegates from the e-Skills partner institutions within South Africa. At the end of the Forum they were able to come up with their own Agenda for Action. The experience of South Africa with its eSkills Agenda was very instructive for other countries who felt it was something they could also emulate.

During the Forum, the Director of BDT, Mr Brahima Sanou, launched the ITU Academy, and emphasised the importance of capacity building for any nation-building and for development in general.

The final report now available on the ITU Academy website at: http://academy.itu.int.

Discovering BDT Publications – Trends in Telecommunication Reform

D-REG-TTR_13-2012-JPG-EBDT’s Regulatory and Market Environment Team is pleased to introduce the twelfth edition of Trends in Telecommunication Reform. The Trends Report is an integral component of the ongoing dialogue between the BDT and the world’s ICT regulators.

As in past years, the theme of the 2012 Trends Report – “Smart Regulation for a Broadband World” – found its genesis in the Global Symposium for Regulators of the previous year, which took place in September 2011 in Armenia City, Colombia.

The 2012 Trends Report contains ten chapters that explore a wealth of legal and regulatory issues that are emerging as broadband becomes ubiquitous and as the digital economy grows.

  • Chapter 1 sets the foundation for the discussion about regulation for a broadband world by outlining key trends in the ICT market and in ICT regulation.
  • Chapter 2 discusses the issues surrounding the development of national broadband strategies, policies, and plans; it includes the presentation of a decision tree designed to assist policymakers and regulators in making key regulatory and policy choices as they formulate national broadband plans.
  • Chapter 3 examines open access regulation in the digital economy. It considers what forms of regulation may be appropriate at various levels of the ICT value chain. It also discusses how the nature of broadband networks may require changes to existing approaches to open access.
  • Chapter 4 considers strategies and models for funding universal broadband access. Special attention is given to universal access funds.
  • Chapter 5 examines broadband-enabled innovation and outlines policy approaches that can promote such innovation.
  • Chapter 6 focuses on social media. It provides a backgrounder on social media and considers how the regulatory community can use social media in discharging its duties. It also assesses the policy issues raised by social media in light of the fact that ICT regulators may be asked to establish a policy framework for the use of social media generally in society.
  • Chapter 7 examines intellectual property rights (IPR) in the digital economy and the role of ICT regulators and policy-makers in protecting these rights.
  • Chapter 8 considers the regulatory landscape for mobile banking (m-banking). In addition to assessing the two main m-banking models, this chapter surveys the regulatory issues that arise from the provision of m-banking services.
  • Chapter 9 addresses the problem of electronic waste (e-waste). It surveys the issues surrounding e-waste and proposes policy approaches that ICT regulators can adopt to address e-waste.
  • Chapter 10 provides the conclusions to the Report.

A Summary of the report is available for free download, and the full Trends in Telecommunication Report can be ordered online.