The UN Broadband Commission has called for a “New Deal” involving fresh industry collaboration and public-private partnerships to help connect the 5 billion people who lack mobile broadband access.

At the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development's 2017 Spring Meeting in Hong Kong yesterday, participants debated the need for a new deal between all broadband stakeholders to work towards full global connectivity and digital transformation.

Discussions had a particular emphasis on remote and rural areas - especially in the UN's list of Least Developed Countries – which represent the biggest challenge for the industry.

The Commission underlined the need to build an ecosystem with government, with all ministries and the private sector working together for more efficient investment and taxation, as well as issues associated with the cost of spectrum auctions in markets with the widest digital divides.

“Our central conviction is that broadband and ICTs are critical if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” ITU secretary general and Broadband Commission co-vice chair Houlin Zhao said.

“ICTs underpin vital achievements and modern services in many sectors, and governments and industry must increasingly work together to create the conditions so badly needed to facilitate the growth of broadband for sustainable development." – Telecom Asia


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