Broadband is flourishing in many economies, especially in East Asia.
Korea's high-speed broadband penetration is nearing 80 per cent of
households while connection speeds in the region have reached 40
Mbit/s (roughly 700 times faster than a dial-up connection).
However, most people in the developing world still have no access to
even simple dial-up Internet access. This vast inequality in access
to information is creating an information digital divide that
threatens to slow the formation of a truly global, inclusive
The World Summit on the
Information Society (WSIS) Geneva Plan of Action
highlights how the digital divide in high-speed Internet connectivity is
a growing concern, but one that can be effectively addressed by new
technologies and policies. Narrowing the current digital divide
will require a new set of tools to identify digital gaps and policy
insight to close them.
The objective of the new initiatives workshops is to stimulate
debate on topics of high current policy interest to ITU Member
States and Sector Members. To this end, the ITU will convene a small
group of policy makers, telecommunication providers, regulators,
academics, statisticians and various other experts, serving in an
individual capacity, who can discuss the best ways to:
- Measure the digital divide through ICT data collection and
compilation into ICT indices.
- Implement new communication technologies with the goal of expanding access to ICTs.
Through these discussions, the workshop has helped build a
foundation of tools that can be used to promote ICT access
throughout the world, first by identifying areas of acute need, and
then by applying technological solutions to reach unserved users
throughout the world.