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 Monday, June 06, 2011
Broadband Commission launches second major report

The second major output document of the ITU/UNESCO-led Broadband Commission for Digital Development was released on June 6, at the 3rd meeting of the Commission in Paris, France.

Entitled Broadband: A Platform for Progress, the report advocates a coordinated, nationwide approach to broadband development that more closely resembles the development of national railway or electricity networks than the more laissez-faire, market-driven approach that has generally characterized the roll-out of mobile cellular technology.

The report also makes a strong case for broadband as a driver of economic growth and new jobs, citing country case studies and reports by leading consultancies that point to increased employment opportunities, higher labour productivity and a strong stimulus to GDP.

Positive findings released recently by ITU show that, on average, consumers are paying 50% less for high-speed Internet connections than they were two years ago. However, this fall is mainly due to price decreases in developing countries, with steep declines often reflecting the extremely high cost of broadband in the developing world.

And despite encouraging trends, Africa continues to stand out for its relatively high prices. Fixed broadband Internet access in particular remains prohibitively high, and, across the region as a whole, still represented almost three times the monthly average per capita income. Only one out of ten people in Africa is using the Internet.

Read the press release at http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/press_releases/2011/19.aspx