Committed to connecting the world

ICTs for a Sustainable World #ICT4SDG



"Broadband networks offer perhaps the greatest opportunity we have ever had to make rapid and solid advances in global social and economic development – across all sectors, including healthcare, education, new job opportunities, transportation, agriculture, trade and government services. In the twenty-first century, broadband networks therefore need to be considered as basic critical infrastructure, like roads, railways, water and power networks." 

Mr Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General​ 

The UN Broadband Commission

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The UN Broadband Commission was established in 2010 as a top-level advocacy body to promote broadband as an accelerator of global development. At its 12th meeting, held on 26th September 2015 in New York, the Commission adopted a new focus on the Sustainable Development Goals. This sees the Commission enter a new phase; the newly inaugurated ITU/UNESCO Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development aims to promote the use of broadband to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. 22 new members have been drawn from a range of sectors including the global technology industry, government ministers, education and healthcare, and two additional UN bodies join existing Commissioners from ITU, UNDP, UNESCO, UN-ORHLLS, WIPO and the UN Foundation. . 


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Broadband Commissioners and invited guests convened for a special session during the 2016 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to discuss collaboration opportunities and initiatives to connect the unconnected. The session brought together leading figures from government, industry and the finance sector, to debate key challenges to mobilizing investment for building out broadband infrastructure in underserved communities. A discussion paper, developed by ITU as a contribution to the work of the Commission and launched during the session, estimates that it will take global investment of US$450 billion in network infrastructure to connect the next 1.5 billion unconnected people worldwide.

State of Broadband

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The Broadband Commission’s annual State of Broadband report includes the latest broadband access and affordability rankings for over 160 economies. For example, it reveals that household Internet access in developed countries is close to saturation, with more than 81.3% of households connected. However, fewer than 7% of households have Internet access in the 48 UN Least Developed Countries, while only 1 in 9 households is connected in sub-Saharan Africa. The 2015 edition of the Broadband Commission State of Broadband report and report Highlights can be downloaded here.

Trends in Telecommunication Reform

The annual Trends in Telecommunication Reform publications are a key part of the dialogue with the world's information and communications technology (ICT) policy-makers and regulators in an increasingly converged digital environment. Under the overarching theme "Regulatory incentives to achieve digital opportunities", the 16th edition of Trends explores topical issues regulators need to address to ensure that citizens can benefit from the social and economic opportunities brought about by the digital economy. For digital opportunities to fully materialize, an adaptive, consultative and innovative approach to ICT policy and regulation is more than ever necessary. 

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