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 Tuesday, October 17, 2006
The 2006 ITU ‘Young Minds’ are now in their final week of the SPU-administered programme. Now entering its third year, the programme is designed to give young people valuable exposure to the international telecommunication environment and the work of ITU. Lucy Yu from the United Kingdom and Chin Yung Lu from Hong Kong SAR were selected as the 2006 Young Minds. As part of their work at the SPU, the Young Minds have been researching telecommunications technologies and preparing text for the ITU Internet Report 2006: digital.life. Statistics were collected and prepared by Kenichi Yamada.

The ITU Internet Report is a series of publications prepared on a yearly basis especially for ITU TELECOM events. The 2006 edition is the eighth in the series and will be published to coincide with ITU TELECOM World 2006, to be held in Hong Kong from 4th - 8th December. The report begins by examining the underlying technological enablers of new digital lifestyles, from upgrading network infrastructure to value creation at its edges. In studying how businesses are adapting to fast-paced digital innovation, the report looks at how they can derive value in an environment driven by convergence at multiple levels. The question of extending access to underserved areas of the world is considered as an important priority. In light of media convergence, a fresh approach to policy-making may be required, notably in areas such as content, competition policy, and spectrum management. Concerns over privacy and data protection are not being sufficiently addressed by current methods for managing identities online. As such, the report examines the changing digital individual, and outlines the need for improving the design of identity management mechanisms for a healthy and secure digital world.

As a conclusion to their research, the Young Minds each gave a presentation on selected topics that are each expanded upon in digital.life. Their presentations, entitled ‘A User-Generated Digital World’ and ‘Internet Protocol Television (IPTV): Television is changing…..’ can be seen here. In her presentation, Lucy Yu introduced the phenomenon of user generated content and talked about the effect that this is having on communities and social networking as well as the web’s wider knowledge base. She went on to talk about business models and the potential for growth and the threats that legislation and social acceptance may pose to user-generated content. Finally, she questioned future possible trends and explored how the market might evolve. In his presentation, Chin Yung introduced IPTV and illustrated how it works, and talked of the growing trend of media convergence between television services and the internet. He also listed the main differences between IPTV and Internet Video Streaming, which are often thought to be the same technologies. To conclude, Chin Yung displayed some IPTV deployments in Europe and Asia and suggested that IPTV can be an exciting opportunity for telcos.

Both ‘Young Minds’ have greatly enjoyed their time on the programme and would encourage any young people with a passion for telecoms to take part in the 2007 call. For further details on the Young Minds programme see the Young Minds webpage.