ITU

Committed to connecting the world

World Telecommunication Development Conference 2014

_
 

Statement by Ms. Magdalena Gaj, President of the Office of Electronic Communications, Republic of Poland


Mr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary General of the ITU,

Mr Brahima Sanou, Director of the Development Bureau,

 

Excellencies,
Distinguished colleagues,

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

To start with, let me take you back in time.

Listen to some expert opinions from the past.

Back in the 1920s, urged to invest in the radio, David Sarnoff snapped: "The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?"

"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk on the screen?" asked Harry Warner of Warner Brothers in the same decade.

Forty years on, Decca Recording rejected the Beatles, saying: "We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out."

Well, it wasn`t long before they all had to eat ----their ----words.

 

To quote Heraclitus, Change is the only constant .

All we can do is push this change in the right direction.

 

Since we last met four years ago for the WTDC in Hyderabad, India, a lot has changed in the world as well as in the ICT sector.

 

 

Let's see if our actions have brought expected results.

 

The key question that needs to be answered is -

 

ARE WE, as an ICT sector, DEVELOPING?

 

YES we ARE, we really are.

 

 

Let me just bring your attention to the two most important ICT indicators,

 

the number of mobile subscriptions

 

and the number of individuals using the Internet.

 

Since 2010 the number of mobile subscriptions in the world has grown by more than 26%, while the number of individuals using the Internet has grown by more than 35%.

 

In Poland we have reached more than 140 mobile subscriptions per 100 inhabitants and 66 Internet users per 100 people.

 

So, as we can see, Poland contributes to the global growth and development.

 

We know that ICT is the driver of development, innovation, well-being, equality, growth and productivity.

 

 

That is why Poland has implemented several projects.

 

 

Every citizen deserves fast Internet and every government can work to improve the current legislation to speed up the process.

 

Poland saw the point and took action.

 

To me actions speak louder than words:

 

During the last conference in Hyderabad I told you about the new legislation proposals.

Now, I can tell you that the new legislation is in force.

 

This legislation act enhanced the environment for investments and boosted the process of spending funds on the Internet network.

 

Now we can observe effects of these legislative changes

such as cooperation between sectors or

 

infrastructure mapping and development.

 

The switch from the analogue to the digital TV was accomplished last year.

 

That led to the release of spectrum resources.

 

We have successfully finalized the tender for 1800 MHz

and currently the auction for 800, and 2600 MHz is in process.

 

This will allow us to develop mobile wireless networks which will result in new offers for high-speed mobile data transfer.

 

Internet will become cheaper and available for everyone in the highly advanced LTE technology.

 

We are fully aware that to build the smart e- society more needs to be done than just legislation and infrastructure development.

 

Therefore, we have carried out several projects aimed at reducing digital divide and at capacity building.

 

"Digital Light-keepers" is one of such projects.

 

Thousands of special volunteers trained as teachers of the Internet were sent to reach people aged 50+ and to tackle digital exclusion and build capacity in this group.

Another example is the "Girls in ICT" project which is promoting the presence of women in the ICT sector.

 

Within the project I closely cooperate with technical universities and ICT companies.

 

 

Dear colleagues we will meet again in four years time.

 

This is a long, long time in such a dynamic and rapidly evolving environment.

 

Therefore, today we should decide on our objectives and actions for the next four years.

 

Or else, future generations will quote us with amusement, as I quoted some experts at the very beginning.

And none of us wants to hear people say behind our backs:

 

"They totally missed the point of what to expect from the world in 2020!"

 

We need to ask ourselves what the people of tomorrow will be like?

 

The answer is clear, they will be mobile citizens of the world.

 

We are responsible for them and we have to provide them with appropriate solutions, so that they could realize their potential in all aspects of life.

 

At the same time their mobility should not compromise their national identity, cultural heritage and their sense of belonging.

 

In my opinion our objectives should focus on connecting the unconnected, providing more spectrum for industry, fostering consumer protection and proper regulatory approach.

 

There is still a large number of people around the world who don't benefit from the opportunities created by ICT.

 

Despite the progress in recent years, two thirds of the world's population is still offline.

 

Broadband is clearly going to be a vital part of the solution, and we must continue to 'mobilize' resources necessary to ensure that all the world's people become connected. The issue of spectrum for industry is important for several reasons.

 

First, the resources are limited.

Second, demand for everything wireless is increasing rapidly.

 

This means that there are more companies competing for the same limited resources.

 

If we run the system inefficiently we will not be able to provide the services people want and need.

 

Therefore, we should do our best to release those resources and coordinate their efficient allocation.

 

We shouldn't also forget about consumer rights.

 

The issue is crucial for example in the developing countries, where the quality of services is still not satisfactory.

 

Consumers are not treated as they should be.

 

That is why, the quality of services as well as the approach to the consumers have to be improved.

 

We have to ensure affordable, equal and nondiscriminatory access to services.

 

While we are talking about the quality of services we should take actions towards building new high-speed access networks.

 

We need to implement proper regulatory approach in order to support broadband roll-out.

 

Such an approach allows us to look into the future with hope that it will be a better future, a DIGITAL future!

 

Our goal is to develop SMART WORLD by developing ICT which is the blood stream,

or oxygen for the economy.

 

Poland will continue in its efforts to build the SOCIETY OF DIGITAL NATIVES based on

knowledge, equality and inclusiveness.

 

Thank you!