UN Launches Global Broadband Commission

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The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have announced the creation of a high-level Broadband Commission for Digital Development aimed at speeding the roll out of high speed broadband globally.

The new Commission consists of 30 representatives from around the world, representing a wide range of business and social sectors. It is co-chaired by President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Mr. Carlos Slim Hlu, Honorary Lifetime Chairman of Grupo Carso. ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun Toure and UNESCO Director-General, Ms Irina Bokova, will serve as joint vice chairs.

Dr-Toure "In the 21st century, affordable, ubiquitous broadband networks will be as critical to social and economic prosperity as networks like transport, water and power," said Dr. Toure.

"Not only does broadband deliver benefits across every sector of society, but it also helps promote social and economic development, and will be key in helping us get the MDGs back on track."

The Commission will meet in Geneva mid-year and present its findings in two reports. The first report will be based on input from the 30 representatives. The second report will be an in-depth research paper focused on measuring the social and economic benefits, evaluating different deployment  and financing models and looking at different technologies that can be used to bring maximum speeds and network reach at affordable prices.

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