Ninth Meeting of the Broadband Commission : The State of Broadband 2014 Report
23 March 2014, Dublin, Ireland
Thank you for this opportunity to say a few words about this year’s State of Broadband 2014 Report, which has the working title, “Broadband for All”.
In addition to our lobbying and advocacy activities, the State of Broadband report is one of the Commission’s most high-profile and durable outputs.
Since the first report in 2010, this annual report has built up a growing readership who look each September for fresh perspectives, thought-provoking analysis and – perhaps most importantly – the monitoring of progress towards the Commission’s targets for global connectivity, including the country rankings.
I am very proud of this series of reports, which has established a solid reputation for insight, analysis and opinion from different Commissioners and their institutions.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Before looking at some of the practical considerations, it’s worth looking back for a moment at what has already been achieved, since the Commission was created in 2010.
And the great news for this Commission is that really quite incredible progress has been made in terms of ICT development in the past four years – and that almost all of this progress has taken place in the developing world.
Indeed, the developing world accounted for 90% of the net additions in terms of mobile cellular subscriptions globally and 82% of the net additions of new internet users globally since 2010.
In numerical terms, that means we have 820 million more users of the internet in the developing world and two billion more mobile cellular subscriptions – in just four years.
One of the things the State of Broadband emphasizes, however, is that we still have a long way to go – especially in terms of broadband penetration.
And let me take this opportunity to remind you that at the beginning of this year, fixed and mobile broadband penetration rates in the developed world stood at 27.2% and 74.8% respectively; while in he developing world, they stood at 6.1% and 19.8%.
Let me emphasize that the State of Broadband is very much your report. It is built and led by your contributions, so it is for you to decide the priorities which the Commission should address, and which should be included.
Let me therefore encourage all of you to get involved this year. Most of you know Pippa Biggs, who compiles and edits the report, and who is with us here in Dublin – so please feel free to approach her here, or get in touch with her later, about how you could make a contribution.
The report will include both personal perspectives and viewpoints, as well as institutional contributions.
I understand from Pippa that we are expecting zero-draft contributions by mid-May, with a view to getting a first draft report ready by the end of May.
Typically, the State of Broadband Report goes to three drafts to ensure that you are all happy with how the Commission’s ideas and your contributions are reflected.
We look forward to working with you closely over the coming months to ensure another top- quality report will be published in September.