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SES New Skies
Statement by Ms. Kelly O’Keefe, Advisor

Introduction

SES NEW SKIES applauds the ITU and Secretary General Touré on the 2009 World Telecommunication Policy Forum (WTPF) initiative, and thanks the Portuguese Administration for its hospitality in hosting and making possible this event. SES NEW SKIES welcomes this opportunity to comment on the Final Draft of the Secretary General’s Report and Draft Opinions, specifically Draft Opinion 2 on the Implication of the Advent of Next-Generation Networks (NGNs) and Advanced Broadband Access.

As a Member of the Informal Experts Group, SES NEW SKIES has been able to offer a satellite industry perspective – an important perspective not often considered in the global NGN dialogue. We believe that the consideration of the satellite role in NGN and broadband deployment in both the Secretary-General’s Report and Draft Opinion 2 is especially relevant given that parts of the world’s population can enjoy the benefits of critical ICT services and applications only through satellite connections. By joining this discussion, SES NEW SKIES seeks to highlight how satellite technologies can be a useful catalyst in the NGN transition and deployment of broadband access to citizens in all regions.

Satellite Role in NGN Deployment

Satellite technologies will serve as a complementary and necessary platform for facilitating access to NGNs and their associated services and applications, particularly to remote and rural areas. We encourage Administrations to take a closer look at how regulatory environments and evolving licensing regimes can affect the ability of satellite operators and service providers to use their technologies to enable NGN connectivity, while noting that satellite networks, with their exceptional characteristics, will not necessarily be part of emerging NGN standards or regulatory frameworks.

Broadband Access

We reinforce the statements in the Secretary-General’s Report and Opinion 2 which highlight the critical role satellite technologies play in expanding broadband service delivery and coverage areas. The deployment of broadband demands innovative solutions to meet divergent country needs, and the satellite industry has been actively working to meet those needs through more efficient and cost-effective next generation services and applications and hybrid technology solutions. As Administrations develop strategies to encourage broadband deployment, steps should be taken to afford proper access for satellite technologies, including assessing the spectrum requirements needed to facilitate growth in demand for satellite-enabled wireless broadband services.

Draft Opinion 2: Implications of the Advent of NGNs and Advanced Broadband Access

SES NEW SKIES believes that Opinion 2 provides a compelling picture of the wide array of opportunities and challenges presented by the deployment of NGNs and broadband, particularly for developing countries. In order to address the digital divide, Member States and Sector Members will need to evaluate a number of technology, regulatory, and policy measures depending on the unique circumstances faced in each country. Satellite technologies offer one of many solutions, but one that will be of specific importance in delivering last mile connectivity, particularly to remote and rural areas where terrestrial infrastructure is limited or non-existent. We believe that Opinion 2 goes far to capture the variety of solutions and considerations involved in the NGN transition and broadband deployment, and applaud the WTPF for including consideration of satellite solutions that can benefit the global ICT community.

Conclusion

SES NEW SKIES is pleased to be able to join in this discussion and to reinforce our deep commitment to the ITU and its Member States to address these common technology and policy challenges. As a global community, we all benefit from the expanded deployment of NGNs and broadband, which help deliver valuable e-services to citizens in developed and developing countries alike. Satellite technologies and services are and will continue to be very much a part of this exciting transition. We thank you and look forward to continuing this dialogue in the future.