Committed to connecting the world



"Broadband networks offer perhaps the greatest opportunity we have ever had to make rapid and solid advances in global social and economic development – across all sectors, including healthcare, education, new job opportunities, transportation, agriculture, trade and government services. In the twenty-first century, broadband networks therefore need to be considered as basic critical infrastructure, like roads, railways, water and power networks." 

Mr Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General​ 

The UN Broadband Commission

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The UN Broadband Commission was established in 2010 as a top-level advocacy body to promote broadband as an accelerator of global development. At its 12th meeting, held on 26th September 2015 in New York, the Commission adopted a new focus on the Sustainable Development Goals. This sees the Commission enter a new phase; the newly inaugurated ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development aims to promote the use of broadband to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. 22 new members have been drawn from a range of sectors including the global technology industry, government ministers, education and healthcare, and two additional UN bodies join existing Commissioners from ITU, UNDP, UNESCO, UN-ORHLLS, WIPO and the UN Foundation. . 

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ITU is proud to publish this joint report with Cisco Systems, exploring the use and potential of the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for tackling global development challenges. This report highlights a number of instances where IoT interventions are helping solve some of the world’s most pressing issues, including in conservation and environmental monitoring, cold chain storage of vaccines, water management, agriculture and fire warnings.  The IoT and connected sensors are driving improvements to human wellbeing in many different areas, demonstrating that the IoT is not just a success story for developed countries or industrial applications, but is equally relevant for developing countries.   It presents summary conclusions on what is required for the IoT to reach billions of people living in the developing world, as well as accelerating income growth and social development.

State of Broadband

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The Broadband Commission’s annual State of Broadband report includes the latest broadband access and affordability rankings for over 160 economies. For example, it reveals that household Internet access in developed countries is close to saturation, with more than 81.3% of households connected. However, fewer than 7% of households have Internet access in the 48 UN Least Developed Countries, while only 1 in 9 households is connected in sub-Saharan Africa. The 2015 edition of the Broadband Commission State of Broadband report and report Highlights can be downloaded here.

Trends in Telecommunication Reform

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The 15th edition of Trends in Telecommunication Reform focuses on getting ready for the digital economy. The report highlights three critical issues: how can citizens benefit from the opportunities brought about by the digital economy; how will the changes taking place in the digital ecosystem affect national ICT policy and regulatory frameworks; and which measures policy makers and regulators can take to respond efficiently to the new challenges brought about by the digital economy.