National broadband plans, mobile banking, intellectual
property rights, open access — there is no single blueprint
for best practice, but learning from countries’ experiences
is possible. This edition of ITU News highlights
current thinking and experience on these topics which,
along with many others, form the agenda of the Global
Symposium for Regulators, taking place in Armenia City,
Colombia, on 21–23 September 2011. I am delighted
to see this event take place in the Americas for the first
The rapid growth of the digital economy presents
huge opportunities for development, creating global
markets for applications and services, reducing the cost
of doing business, and unleashing creativity and innovation.
Extending broadband networks will accelerate this
In an era in which broadband is increasingly considered
the right of every citizen, smart regulation will
have to continue evolving on a path towards greater
openness, offering incentives while turning challenges
into opportunities. When drafting national plans, policies
and strategies for broadband deployment and takeup,
wide-ranging public consultations will help ensure
that the investments ahead are based on the collective
decisions of government, industry, and society.
Supportive policy and good governance are essential
for the success of broadband deployment and
take-up. Where returns are insufficient to attract private
investment, public funds can be mobilized through public-
Policy-makers and regulators can provide incentives
for private-sector investment by adopting enabling policies,
simplifying licensing regimes, reducing obligations,
and offering tax breaks. Making more spectrum available
for broadband wireless services becomes a cornerstone
of future growth of the digital economy.
Open access arrangements could maximize the economic
benefits of broadband infrastructure across a
broad base of users and suppliers. Regulators and policy-
makers should aim for digital inclusion — in other
words, broadband services for all citizens.
Countries with high levels of digital literacy are more
innovative and productive, and are capturing a greater
share of the world’s trade, investment and better jobs.
Regulators and policy-makers need to promote firstclass
training systems in all countries to ensure that their
citizens can fully benefit from the opportunities of the
We look to the 2011 Global Symposium for
Regulators to identify and endorse best practice guidelines
to advance the deployment of broadband, encourage
innovation and enable digital inclusion for all!