Between13-15 of December, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) organized its 6th World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators (WTI) Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. As the UN Agency in charge of telecommunications/ICT, ITU plays a lead role in the collection and harmonization of internationally comparable telecommunication/ICT statistics. The WTI meeting is organized regularly to review the state of telecommunication/ICT statistics, definitions, collection, and methodology.
In this yearís meeting 171 delegates from almost 80 ITU member countries and a number of regional and international organizations discussed the measurement of community access, the formulation of possible new indicators to measure the Information Society and the single ITU index.
The meeting was opened by Mr. S. Al Basheer Al Morshid, Director of the ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT). Mr. Al Basheer Al Morshid highlighted ITUís obligation and commitment to measure the Information Society. ITU has repeatedly emphasized that, to appropriately tackle the digital divide, it is crucial to overcome the statistical divide. This is important on a national level, to help governments identify their progress, their strengths and their weaknesses, so as to overcome barriers to wider and qualitatively better access to ICTs. At the same time these statistics are used to make international comparisons and allow governments to assess their performance objectively, identify realistic targets and create demands for improvement.
The meeting agreed upon a set of indicators to measure community/public access, an area where little information is currently available. It also discussed the measurement and definition of 'mobile broadband' and discussed possible indicators for the ITU index. For more information on the meeting, see: http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/wict07/index.html.