2.1.4 Broadband Commission for Digital Development

ITU and UNESCO set up the Broadband Commission for Digital Development in May 2010, in response to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s call to step up UN efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Commission aims to boost the importance of broadband on the international public policy agenda and defines practical ways in which countries — at all stages of development — can expand broadband access, in cooperation with the private sector, to facilitate the achievement of the MDGs by 2015. While not addressing the topic of ICTs in education directly, the Broadband Commission argues that progress towards achieving each of the MDGs can be accelerated with ICTs, in general, and broadband in particular. This is not because ICTs and broadband are not end-goals in themselves, but because they are cross-cutting drivers of socio-economic development like no other technologies in the modern world. ICTs can bring healthcare, education and government services to people wherever they live, as well as leveraging training opportunities around the world. 29 At the Broadband Leadership Summit in Geneva in October 2011, the Broadband Commission established four targets for making broadband policy universal and for boosting affordability and broadband uptake, which in turn will also affect school connectivity. The targets are: /Target 1: Making broadband policy universal. By 2015, all countries should have a national broadband plan or strategy or include broadband in their Universal Access / Service Definitions./ /Target 2: Making broadband affordable. By 2015, entry-level broadband services should be made affordable in developing countries through adequate regulation and market forces (amounting to less than 5% of average monthly income)./ /Target 3: Connecting homes to broadband. By 2015, 40% of households in developing countries should have Internet access./ /Target 4: Getting people online. By 2015, Internet user penetration should reach 60% worldwide, 50% in developing countries and 15% in LDCs.30/

29: A 2010 Leadership Imperative: The Future Built on Broadband , available at: http://www.broadbandcommission.org/Reports/Report_1.pdf v.

30: Broadband Targets for 2015 http://www.broadbandcommission.org/Documents/Broadband_Targets.pdf

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