Access to broadband could be the universal catalyst that lifts developing countries out of poverty and puts access to health care, education and basic social services within reach of all, according to the UN Broadband Commission for Digital Development, which met in Dublin recently.
The Commission reiterated its call to International community to recognize the transformational potential of high-speed networks and ensure broadband penetration targets are specifically included in the UN post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.
It also urged governments and international financing bodies to work to remove current barriers to investment. Globally, as much as 95% of telecommunications infrastructure is private sector-funded, but better incentives are urgently needed if investment is to expand in line with the coming exponential growth of connected users and so-called ‘Internet of Things’ data streams.
In the world’s 200 biggest cities, the number of connected devices is forecast to increase from an average of 400 devices per square kilometre to over 13,000 devices per square kilometre by 2016.
The Commission, which includes some of the world’s most prominent leaders from the tech sector, government, academia and UN agencies. gathered in Dublin at the invitation of Denis O’Brien, Chairman of the Digicel Group and one of the founding members of the group.
Established in 2010, the Commission is a top-level advocacy body which focuses on strategies to make broadband more available and affordable worldwide, with a particular emphasis on accelerating progress towards the eight UN Millennium Development Goals.
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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc