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Building Digital Bridges
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 information society.

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.

Workshop objectives
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:

  1. Measure the digital divide through ICT data collection and compilation into ICT indices.
  2. 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.

The ITU/KADO Digital Bridges Symposium was held 10 to 11 September 2004 in Busan, Korea immediately following the ITU TELECOM Forum
Abstract:  PDF   
Agenda:  PDF
Chairman's Report: PDF 
Participants:  PDF
Other Resources
Building Digital Bridges Report (November 2005) Executive Summary
Background Resources
ITU - Telecommunication Development Bureau
ITU - Strategy and Policy Unit
Indices (Day 1)
  Background paper  
  - International indices PDF
  Case Studies  
  - Australia PDF
  - Hong Kong, China PDF
Technologies (Day 2)
  Background paper  
  - Technological bridges PDF
  Case Studies  
  - India PDF
  - Malaysia PDF


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Updated : 2011-04-04