ITU World Telecommunication/ICT Policy Forum debates hot topics affecting technology sectorListen /
"We stand at a 'tipping point' between the Internet as a vital enabler of social and economic progress in the industrialized world and the Internet as a valuable global resource and a basic commodity of human life everywhere." That, according to the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union Hamdoun Touré.
He told the ITU's fifth World telecommunication/ICT Policy Forum that "By the end of this year, there will be almost as many active mobile cellular phones as there are people on the planet, and some 2.7 billion people will be using the Internet – with 2.1 billion active mobile-broadband subscriptions". But he added that "at the end of this year almost 70% of people in the developing world will still be offline". And he urged delegates to focus their discussions on ways to improve global connectivity. Secretary-General Touré described the meeting as "a chance to pause, reflect and debate the emerging issues in telecoms and ICTs, and their significance for us all.
This year's Forum focuses on the topic of Internet-related Public Policy Issues, and will consider the adoption of six draft Opinions developed during three preparatory meetings, among them Promoting Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) as a long term solution to advance connectivity; Fostering an enabling environment for the greater growth and development of broadband connectivity; Supporting Multi-stakeholderism in Internet Governance.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.