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 Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Nokia Siemens Networks, Microsoft and Cisco have contributed over USD 125,000 between them to  establish  an ITU fund to bridge the standardization gap between developed and developing countries.

ITU recently announced the fund that would be used to support forums , tutorials  and workshops, participation  of delegates from least developed countries in meetings, the hosting of meetings in developing countries, surveys and study programmes.   

Bridging the standardization gap means allowing easier participation in the standards development process which in turn allows developing countries to profit from access to new technology development and ensures that their needs are taken into account in the development of standards.

Rajiv Kapoor, Director Carrier Standards and Architectures, Cisco Systems, Cisco: “As a technology leader, Cisco is a longtime supporter of ITU activities in many fields and especially of projects aimed at bridging the digital divide. Increasing developing country participation in the standards making process is not a short term fix. It will give developing countries a voice in the development of next generation ICTs and sow the seeds of a truly equitable information society.”

Tom Robertson, General Manager for Interoperability and Standards at Microsoft: “Technical standards play a critical role in defining the technical and economic landscape around the world. All communities affected by standards should have a voice in their creation. We are strong supporters of bridging the standardization gap between developed and developing countries. The ITU fund represents important efforts being made to ensure that all countries have the opportunity to contribute to standards development. We look forward to supporting the ITU's efforts to resolve disparities and bring the potential of technology development to all communities. ”

Dirk Weiler, Vice President Standards and Fora at Siemens Information and Communication Mobile, Nokia Siemens Networks: “Technology is a way for the poor of the world to break free from poverty. We have identified participation in the standards making process as an important way to facilitate digital inclusion. The problem is that in the past developing countries have lacked the resources to access, implement and contribute to standards. This new initiative goes a long way to addressing the problem. We look forward to working with ITU on its continuing efforts to bridge the digital divide.”

Companies interested in making a contribution to the fund should contact Thierry Perewostchikow (thierry.perewostchikow[a]itu.int). The relevant Circular Letter can be found here.