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8th ITU Global Symposium for Regulators 
Pattaya, Thailand
11 March 2008

Opening Speech by ITU Secretary General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré

Our gracious hosts MICT and NTC, Excellencies,


Distinguished Chairmen; Directors General and Presidents of the Regulatory Authorities, Members of the private sector, Invited guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,


It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the 8th annual Global Symposium for Regulators.  I would like to extend a special word of thanks to our hosts the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology and the National Telecommunications Commission of Thailand for inviting us to hold the GSR in Thailand. In particular, I am grateful to General Choochart Promphrasid, Chairman, National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), for his kind acceptance to chair this year’s GSR.  He and his entire staff have gone out of their way to welcome all of us.


When we decided in ITU eight years ago to launch a global dialogue among regulators, we were confronted with skepticism.  Now, eight years later, we are delighted to have created the GSR as a unique platform in ITU where regulators can share their experiences, exchange best practices and enter into a frank dialogue. Having more than 100 heads of regulators authorities, board members and commissioners gathered here in Pattaya today certainly demonstrates the need for such a unique global gathering. A need also recognized by our Members during the Plenipotentiary Conference 06 with the adoption of Resolution 138 on the GSR.


The theme of this year’s GSR is Six Degrees of Sharing.  Sharing of views, experiences and best practices among regulators is the only way to address the challenges posed by today’s technological and market developments.  It is only by working together that smart policies and practices can be put into place to ensure that the target of connecting the world to ICT within the next seven years can be met.  Connecting the world means that the benefits of the Information Society are shared by all.


Technological developments bring high hopes and expectations.  In developing countries, wireless broadband technologies are increasingly viewed as the means of achieving universal access to ICT at the local level.  At the same time, the development of regional and national broadband IP backbone and backhaul networks, like high speed submarine cable networks, are critical to the success of broadband access technologies.  Speed is key in the ICT world!  Technology alone, however, is not enough to ensure success.  The environment that enables new technologies to be used and shared by all can only be created through regulatory reform.


This year’s GSR will explore how regulatory reform can reduce the high investment costs associated with the deployment of new technologies.  We will examine a range of sharing strategies designed to cut the costs of network rollout, and each one has a role to play in ensuring that countries meet their development millennium goals by 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

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