New Delhi: Stressing upon the need for developing country-specific plan for broadband networks, telecom minister Kapil Sibal has said the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) needs to help nations achieve affordable access to technology.
ITU needs to coordinate among member nations for the development of affordable ecosystem of access networks, applications and end-user terminals to help greater penetration of broadband services, Sibal said.
These steps will help in the implementation of the United Nation’s (UN) Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in time.
United Nation’s International Telecommunication Union. Photo: Bloomberg
MDGs are eight international development goals that all 193 United Nations’ member states have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. They include achieving universal primary education and eradicating extreme poverty.
“The (broadband) plans may also be put up in public domain, so that international investors can also evaluate them for participation in execution of these projects in PPP (Public-Private Participation) mode,” Sibal said in a statement released Tuesday.
ITU is a UN body for information and communication technologies. It coordinates the shared global use of the radio spectrum, promotes international cooperation in assigning satellite orbits, works to improve telecom infrastructure in the developing world, and establishes worldwide standards.
Sibal said, as development of nation-wide broadband networks requires significant financial investments for long gestation period, ITU must coordinate with leading financial institutions, including World Bank, IMF and ADB to help developing nations in this aspect.
Sibal was speaking at the Broadband Leadership Summit-ITU Telecom World 2011 at Geneva, where he is leading the Indian delegation.
The event commemorates the 40th Anniversary of the World’s most influential networking event ‘ITU Telecom World’ for Global ICT Community.
The minister noted that high cost of consumer access devices has been proving great impediment in usage of broadband networks.
ITU should focus on R&D in producing cost-effective customer end devices, such as the case of recently launched $35 tablet Aakash by Indian’s ministry of human resource development (HRD), he said.
Aakash is an Android-based tablet computer, designed and developed as a platform for audio-visual media including books, periodicals, movies, music, games and web content.
The device has been drawing great attention of international community ever since its launch, and Sibal called for collaboration from other countries in order to bring the price down from $35 to $10 to enhance its affordability.