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South Asian Telecommunications Regulators' Council (SATRC)
Tehran, Islamic Rep. of Iran 27 February 2011
Distinguished colleagues and friends,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I am honoured to be here today to address this SATRC Council meeting. I will speak in the first session on some of the key regulatory issues facing ITU today.

I would like to thank very much our hosts CRA for inviting me and offering such wonderful hospitality. I bring with me the best wishes of Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré and the new team of Mr Zhao, Deputy Secretary-General, Mr Rancy Director of the Radio Bureau, and Mr Sanou Director of the Development Bureau. We look forward to collaborating with SATRC over the next four years.

As you know ITU is the pre-eminent international organization dealing with spectrum and satellite allocation, international standards, and ICT development... all issues on your agenda for the next three days.

A sound regulatory framework creating an enabling environment for innovation, investment and competition is essential for encouraging the provision and roll out of an efficient ICT environment.

ICTs can have an enormous impact on everyday lives and economic growth, but the full opportunities of ICTs only be provided by broadband services.

National broadband plans that encourage more efficient use of radio spectrum and optical fibre roll out are a key challenge in terms of the development of broadband, in rich countries and emerging countries alike.

Access to broadband allows the delivery of more effective healthcare, better education, environmental sustainability, more efficient transportation services, smarter and more economical energy supplies, and many new applications and services.

This is why ITU, in conjunction with UNESCO, launched the Broadband Commission for Digital Development last year.

The Commission is co-chaired by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Carlos Slim, Chairman of Grupo Carso, the world’s richest man, and we have some 50 Commissioners from the top of the public and private sectors.

The Commission has already been very successful in raising the issue at the highest political levels – including at the 2010 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Summit held in New York last September.

One issue that was forcibly made was the need to ensure that broadband access becomes very much more affordable than it is today.

Affordability is dramatically improved when competitive forces are brought to bear, and when there are clear incentives to increase capacity. National broadband plans need to be developed to encourage this and where better to develop these policies for this region than in SATRC.

For the ICT industry, good regulation breeds confidence and stability. It reduces risk and encourages investment in ICT infrastructure, rewards competition, and encourages innovation. At the same time, it offers consumers greater choice, lower costs, a transparent market place and a fair system for resolving disputes.

After the break I will take about some of our related activities including our efforts to improve conformity and interoperability, IPv6, cybersecurity, next year’s world conference to revise the International Telecommunications Regulations, and new opportunities for the private sector and academia to participate in our work.

So for now, let me thank you for your attention and I wish you a very successful and enjoyable meeting.


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