UN Commission sets global broadband targets
Fourth meeting of the Broadband Commission
endorses new broadband targets and issues global
Geneva, 25 October 2011 – The Broadband Commission for
Digital Development has agreed on a set of four ‘ambitious but achievable’ new
targets that countries around the world should strive to meet in order to ensure
their populations fully participate in tomorrow’s emerging knowledge societies.
The new targets cover broadband policy, affordability and uptake:
- Making broadband policy universal. By 2015, all countries
should have a national broadband plan or strategy or include
broadband in their Universal Access / Service Definitions.
- Making broadband affordable. By 2015, entry-level broadband
services should be made affordable in developing countries
through adequate regulation and market forces (for example,
amount to less than 5% of average monthly income).
- Connecting homes to broadband. By 2015, 40% of households in
developing countries should have Internet access.
- Getting people online. By 2015, Internet user penetration
should reach 60% worldwide, 50% in developing countries and 15%
in Least Developed Countries (LDCs).
“These targets are ambitious but achievable, given the political will and
commitment on the part of governments, working in partnership with the private
sector,” said Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General, who serves as co-Vice
Chair of the Commission alongside UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. The
Commission is co-chaired by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Carlos Slim Helú,
Chairman and CEO of Telmex and América Movíl.
ITU will undertake responsibility for measuring each country’s progress
towards the targets, producing an annual broadband report with rankings of
nations worldwide in terms of broadband policy, affordability and uptake.
The Broadband Challenge endorsed by the Commission recognizes communication
as ‘a human need and a right’, and calls on governments and private industry to
work together to develop the innovative policy frameworks, business models and
financing arrangements needed to facilitate growth in access to broadband
It urges governments to avoid limiting market entry and taxing ICT services
unnecessarily to enable broadband markets to realize their full growth
potential, and encourages governments to promote coordinated international
standards for interoperability and to address the availability of adequate radio
frequency spectrum. “We note the importance of the guiding principles of fair
competition for promoting broadband access to all,” it reads. “It is essential
to review legislative and regulatory frameworks, many of which are inherited
from the last century, to ensure the free and unhindered flow of information in
the new virtual, hyper-connected world.”
The Challenge stresses the need to stimulate content production in local
languages and enhance local capacity to benefit from, and contribute to, the
The fourth meeting of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development was
held just prior to the Broadband Leadership Summit, which welcomed over 250
government and industry leaders from around the world to exchange views on the
challenges and opportunities of ‘a future built on broadband’.
To download a copy of The Broadband Challenge, visit
Speakers at the opening sessions of the Broadband Leadership Summit
- President Paul Kagame, Rwanda (video message)
- Carlos Slim Helú, Chairman and CEO of Telmex and América
- Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, ITU
- Stephen Conroy, Australia’s Minister for Broadband,
Communications and the Digital Economy
- Igor Shchegolev, Russia’s Minister of Communications and
- Masami Yamamoto, President of Fujitsu;
- Kabil Sibal, India’s Minister of Communications and
- Bruno Lanvin, eLab Director, INSEAD.
For more information on the Broadband Leadership Summit and ITU Telecom World
2011, visit http://world2011.itu.int.
Live and archived webcasts of selected ITU Telecom World 2011 sessions are
available at: http://world2011.itu.int/
Follow and participate in the global debates at ITU Telecom World 2011
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and through the @ITU_News twitter account #ITUworld11,
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For more information, please contact:
Head, Communications and Partnership Promotion, ITU
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information, ITU