Happy Holidays from the Broadband Commission
December 17, 2021
Progress on Universal Connectivity in 2021
Over the course of this year, the Broadband Commission has developed new thought leadership on the addressing the barriers to reaching its goal of Universal Connectivity. Through the work of our high-level Commissioners, we have published papers, developed policy recommendations and provided practical applications for advancing global affordability, access and use of broadband.
New data from the ITU Facts and Figures 2021 shows that the estimated number of people who have used the internet has risen 17% since the start of the pandemic, to 4.9B, in 2021 from 4.1B in 2020. However, despite this increase in Internet access and adoption, increased efforts and global digital cooperation are needed to ensure success and concrete movement towards universal connectivity. The Commission continues to produce relevant outputs to guide the policy discussion around connectivity.
Our Year-in-Review Newsletter shares the Commission’s outputs in 2021 as well as the related work of our Commissioners. Stay tuned for more updates in 2022 for more relevant updates on the State of Broadband, news from our partners and updates from the Commission’s current Working Groups on Virtual Health & Care, Smartphone Access, AI Capacity Building and Data for Learning in 2022.
On 13 December 2021, The Broadband Commission hosted a 45 minute information session for the Permanent Missions to the United Nations to: introduce the Commission and present the outcomes of this year’s achievements, including progress on the Commission’s seven advocacy targets, Working Group Reports, the Annual State of Broadband Report, and related publications like the ITU 2021 Facts and Figures Report.
Speakers included: ITU Secretary General and Co-Vice Chair Mr Houlin Zhao, Minister of ICT and Innovation for Rwanda, H.E. Ms Paula Ingabire, Under-Secretary General and High Representatives for LDCs, LLDCs & SIDs for UN-OHRLLS, H .E. Mr Courtenay Rattray, Broadband Commission Executive Director and ITU Development Bureau Director, Ms Doreen Bogdan-Martin, UNESCO Assistant Deputy General, Dr Tawfik Jelassi and CEO of the SAMENA Telecommunications Council, Mr Bocar Ba.
Attendees heard real-world examples of our policy recommendations in action and received resources on how to engage with the Commission.
2021 Broadband Commission Outputs
Broadband Commissioners in the News
Commissioners at the ITU World Telecom/ICT Policy Forum (WTPF)
At this year’s ITU World Telecommunication /ICT Policy Forum, or WTPF, Broadband Commissioners were part of the conversation on “Our Digital Future” and how to foster an enabling environment for the development & deployment of emerging tech to advance the SDG’s and our global goal of Universal Connectivity.
Nokia hosts fellow Commissioner from UN-OHRLLS
Nokia had the honor of hosting H.E. Mr. Courtenay Rattray, UN High Representative for the LDCs, LLDCs and SIDs, and Ambassadors to the UN of the LDCs for a visit to Nokia Executive Experience Center to discuss how technology can contribute to societal and economic progress and how to bridge the digital divide & support digitalization…
ITU Facts and Figures Report 2021
This series sheds light on the multiple facets and evolving nature of the digital divide and takes stock of the progress towards closing it.
It serves as a powerful advocacy tool in efforts to put digital development at the top of the agendas of policymakers & development community.
UNESCO Report from the International Commission on the Future of Education
Broadband Commission Co-Vice Chair, UNESCO, published the Futures of Education Report titled, “Reimagining our futures together: a new social contract for education” proposing a new social contract for providing quality, transformational education to all.
UNESCO adopts first ever global agreement on the Ethics of AI
Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO presented the first ever global standard on the ethics of artificial intelligence adopted by the member states of UNESCO
at the General Conference.
This historical text defines the common
values and principles which will guide the construction of the necessary legal infrastructure to ensure the healthy development of AI.
BBCOM at the 10th International Broadband Russia Forum
Director General of Smart Africa and Broadband Commissioner, Mr Lacina Koné, represented the Commission at this year’s Broadband Russia Forum, titled, “Transformation of Broadband Networks of Cellular, Wired & Satellite Communications in the Era of 5G, Smart Cities & Digital Economy.”
DG Koné made the case for digital transformation through collaborative institutional frameworks like the Broadband Commission & Smart Africa.
Smart cities are great but we also need smart villages
Broadband Commissioner and CEO of Nokia, Mr Pekka Lundmark, references the Broadband Commission’s Working Group on 21st Century Financing Models in his recent article published by the World Economic Forum calling for more public-private partnerships in connecting rural areas.
Ericsson Blog on Network Capabilities
Network capabilities have grown exponentially, enabling digital voice in 2G, mobile data in 3G and the app economy in 4G. Now with 5G unleashing exponential technologies such as AR/VR, AI and IoT, expect capabilities to advance as never before. Check out the blog post by Commissioner and Group CTO of Ericsson Mr Erik Ekudden on the subject.
Ericsson 2021 Mobility Report
The ten-year anniversary Ericsson Mobility Report, launched in November, looks back at some of the key trends and events that have shaped the last decade. In 2021, Broadband IoT (4G/5G) surpassed 2G/3G as the segment with the biggest share of IoT applications.
New Commissioners in 2021
The Broadband Commission is excited to welcome the continued engagement of its new Commissioners, announced in 2021:
Mr Courtenay Rattray, High Representative for LDCs, LLDCs & SIDS, UN-OHRLLS
The Honourable Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados
HE Mr Roberto Sanchez, Secretary of State for Telecom and Digital Infrastructures, Spain
Professor Mercedes Araoz, Former Vice President and Minister of Peru
Ms Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director of International Trade Centre
Mr Ralph Mupita, CEO of MTN
Mr Mauricio Ramos, CEO of Milicom
Mr Nick Read, CEO of Vodafone Group
Mr Ziyang Xu, Executive Director and and CEO of ZTE Corporation
Dr. Rumman Chowdhury, General Partner and Founder of Parity
HE Eng. Majed Almesmar, Director General of the TRDA
Mr Rajeev Suri, CEO of Inmarsat
For a full list of upcoming events and campaigns, check out our Editorial Calendar
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