The Broadband Commission for Digital Development
was established in May 2010 by ITU and UNESCO to highlight the importance of broadband in helping boost achievement of the MDGs. It is chaired jointly by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Mr Carlos Slim Hélu, Honorary Lifetime Chairman of Grupo Carso, with ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré and UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova as vice-chairs.
Commissioners include a variety of policy-makers, top executives, international agencies, and organizations concerned with development. The Commission defines practical ways in which countries — at all stages of development — can provide access to broadband networks for their citizens, in cooperation with the private sector. It debates policy guidance and best practices for the deployment of broadband networks and services.
Expanding broadband access in every country is key to accelerating progress towards the MDGs by 2015. The Broadband Commission defines practical ways in which governments can achieve the MDGs and lift people out of poverty, in cooperation with the private sector. To date, the Commission has published two reports:
- “A 2010 Leadership Imperative: Towards a Future Built on Broadband”, presented to Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, at the UN MDG Summit in New York in September 2010;
- “Broadband: A Platform for Progress”, published in June 2011.
The Commission has inspired some notable policy successes – for example, inspiring enthusiasm for engagement with the UN among key business figures, boosting broadband up the global policy agenda and focusing ITU’s contribution to the UN efforts on the MDGs in the push towards 2015.