Session J6: The Digital Divide in 2010

1:30 PM–3:18 PM, Sunday, May 1, 2011
Room: Terrace A-F

Sponsoring Unit: FIP
Chair: Harvey Newman, California Institute Technology

Abstract ID: BAPS.2011.APR.J6.1

Abstract: J6.00001 : The Digital Divide: A Global View

1:30 PM–2:06 PM

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  Alexander Ntoko
    (Head, Corporate Strategy Division, International Telecommunications Union (ITU))

Huge progress was made in bridging the digital divide in first decade of 21$^{\rm st}$ century. This was largely due to the explosive growth of mobile, which saw numbers rise from under 500 million to over five billion mobile cellular subscriptions in just ten years. With household mobile penetration rates of over 50\% even in rural areas of developing countries, we have achieved the dream of bringing all the world's people within reach of communications technology. We must now, however, replicate the mobile miracle for the Internet, and especially broadband, if we are to avoid creating a new broadband breach to replace the digital divide. Three things need to happen for this to be achieved: firstly, broadband needs to be brought to the top of the development agenda; secondly, broadband needs to become much more affordable and thirdly, security needs to be part of the strategy.

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