ITU event begins with new global broadband targets

25 October 2011 |

The ITU Telecoms World 2011 event began on Monday in Geneva, with the Broadband Commission for Digital Development already agreeing four fresh targets for countries worldwide.

The new targets cover broadband policy, affordability and uptake, and ITU plans to rank the progress of countries worldwide through an annual report.

The first target aims to establish a universal broadband policy by 2015, while the second looks to make broadband more affordable, particularly in developing countries through adequate regulation and market forces.

The ITU also believes that by 2015, 40% of households in developing countries should have internet access. It also states internet user penetration should reach 60% worldwide by 2015, with 50% achieved in developing countries and 15% achieved in least developed countries.

“These targets are ambitious but achievable, given the political will and commitment on the part of governments, working in partnership with the private sector,” said Dr Hamadoun Touré, secretary-general, ITU.

ITU plans to take responsibility for measuring each country’s progress with the four targets and going forward will produce an annual broadband report that ranks nations in terms of broadband policy, affordability and uptake.

The organisation has called on governments and the private sector to collaborate in order to develop the necessary policy frameworks, business models and financing agreements to facilitate growth. In particular it urges governments to avoid limiting market entry and taxing ICT services unnecessarily. It also suggests developing international standards for interoperability and to address the availability of adequate radio frequency spectrum.