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WTDC-14 Highlights: Online Interactive Maps

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ITU Online interactive Maps feature at WTDC-14

Issue N°6, Dubai, 3 April 2014  

Maps aim to help close global connectivity gaps

Delegates and industry representatives participating in WTDC-14 have been given a first-hand demonstration of how ITU's online interactive terrestrial transmission maps can help bridge the gaps in digital connectivity worldwide. 

The groundbreaking maps visually pinpoint where terrestrial communication links are in place and where they do not yet exist, providing policy-makers and planners with an effective tool to close connectivity gaps, particularly in developing countries. The maps also provide information to potential investors on market opportunities

More specifically, ITU hopes the maps will contribute towards accelerating the spread of broadband connectivity, widely regarded as an indispensable component of socio-economic development. 

Speaking on behalf ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau Director Brahima Sanou, the Head of ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau Policies and Strategies Department, Mr Mario Maniewicz, said the maps represented an "authoritative, cutting-edge ICT data-mapping platform to take stock of national backbone connectivity as well as of other key metrics of the ICT sector."

"The maps are a great source of data for network planners, policy makers and regulators to assess the status of national connectivity and market opportunities and to identify gaps. They serve as a powerful tool for all stakeholders for facilitating the development of broadband connectivity worldwide as well as for making use of the already existing links, thus avoiding duplication of efforts and resources," he added.

In presenting the main features of the maps Riccardo Passerini, Head of ITU Telecomunications Technology and Network Development, noted that data collection for the maps had been obtained in consultation with more than 150 operators as well as with related administrations through a public and transparent validation process. He furthermore noted that duplication of effort had been avoided through collaboration agreements signed with regional organizations and countries when similar mapping of data was already available. 

Mr Sanou extended his thanks to the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific for the collaboration on Asia-Pacific maps and to the Economic Community Of West African States for the maps of Africa.

"As this is an ongoing process, I invite operators and administrations to provide us with updated data so that it can be included in the maps," he said. "Let me add that, since the maps were launched in November 2013 in Bangkok, Thailand, we have made remarkable progress. For example, submarine cable data has recently been provided by TeleGeography and the collection of data for the Europe region is now progressing very rapidly. I would like to take this opportunity to thank TeleGeography for their collaboration."

The maps have been drawn up in conformity with United Nations UN cartographic standards. For more information please visit ITU Interactive Transmission Map.

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