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​WTISD 2014 Theme: Broadband for Sustainable Development

Poster WTISD 2014 Digital development is a transformative tool to fast-track sustainable development. In order to realize its full potential it is essential to roll-out high-speed broadband networks, making it affordable and universally accessible.

The theme for WTISD-14, "Broadband for Sustainable Development",  will focus attention on multi-stakeholder commitment to achieve universal access to broadband connectivity and content and foster political will on achieving this objective; identify key gaps in broadband research and development, infrastructure, and packaged development of applications and services; define policy priorities for action in the areas of allocating radio frequency spectrum for broadband, universal access obligations and innovative financing mechanisms; and lead to technological solutions, particularly in the extension of broadband access into rural areas, least developed countries and small island developing states.

Given that estimates suggest that mobile broadband subscription may achieve 10 billion by the end of this decade and that over 90 per cent of international data traffic runs over fibre-optic cables ITU's thrust to push the broadband agenda for sustainable development focuses on the dual goals of supporting the deployment of mobile broadband based on ITU's International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) and the continued rollout of fixed-line technologies. International consensus achieved on ITU standards and radio spectrum related activities for mobile telephony, fibre optics and access standards such as DSL, is the key to achieving the goals of universal access.

The evolution of this work is complemented by key activities including earth monitoring through satellites and oceanographic radars, developing green standards and smart interventions to combat climate change, and m-Powering development.

Broadband infrastructure development is a critical element in ensuring that ICTs are used innovatively as delivery vehicles for health, education, governance, trade and commerce in order to achieve sustainable socio-economic growth. Education is a keystone for educating people with regard to the impact and consequences of their activities for sustainable development, thereby ensuring a better future for all.

As the leading specialized agency of the United Nations for information and communication technologies (ICT), ITU looks towards its Members to harness the catalytic role of ICTs in achieving sustainable development.