WSIS Prizes Contest 2022 Nominee

Project BIRD (Broadband Infrastructure for Rural Area Digitalization)


The project BIRD (Broadband Infrastructure for Remote-Area Digitalization) is for affordably closing the digital divide that help cope with COVID-19 by enabling remote work, tele medicine etc. at every corner of the globe. During 2016-2018, ITU-T SG5 and SG15 published ITU-T L.1700, L.110 and L.163. The president of Global Plan Inc. initiated the standardization discussions and worked as the key editor. By meeting those standards, an affordable optical cable solution was proposed. Note that World Economic Forum at Davos 2017 identified a key challenge as “Finding solutions that connect the large rural offline populations at minimal costs” In 2019, the practicability of the solution BIRD was confirmed in a mountain village of west Nepal (10 km) and rural areas of Mongolia (21.8 km) as the APT projects. In Early 2020, the COVID-19 Pandemic occurred. March 30, 2020, Washington Post posted an article “Coronavirus has made the digital divide more dangerous than ever”. April 6, 2020, US Telecom CEO stated, “Coronavirus reveals need to bridge the digital divide”. The ITU-compliance of the solution BIRD could make the solution less costly by economy of scale thus the more the full-scale deployment is expected in a global scale.

Project website


Action lines related to this project
  • AL C2. Information and communication infrastructure 2022
  • AL C7. E-business
  • AL C7. E-learning
  • AL C7. E-health
Sustainable development goals related to this project
  • Goal 3: Good health and well-being
  • Goal 4: Quality education
  • Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth
  • Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • Goal 10: Reduced inequalities

  • Japan



Start date


End date

Not set

WSIS values promotion

Technologies/ICT tools used in BIRD is affordable and reliable optical fiber cable connectivity that meets new ITU-T standards. It is applicable to urban-rural broadband backhaul connectivity for tele medicine, distant learning and remote work. The cost of optical cable installation are typically 70 to 80 per cent of the entire CAPEX of the network today, with cable installation currently relying on heavy machinery and highly skilled labor. This challenge is made even greater by the low densities of rural communities. To reduce the cable installation cost, a lightweight, robust and thin optical cable is used that meets ITU-T L.110. The cable well realizes a terabit capability, low latency and cost-effective upgradability/scalability needed for ever‎–‎growing demand toward 5 G era and beyond. The cable is with ease of handling and excellent environmental durability implementable from the ground surface to underground to air to water by following L.163 standard. With this cable, the civil work can be simple and easy without demanding heavy machinery and skilled engineers. The CAPEX can be reduced by ~80% than with conventional cables.

Entity name

Global Plan Inc.

Entity country—type

Japan Private Sector

Entity website