Newsletter, Issue No 2, 2016

The Broadband Commission is delighted to welcome its 10 newest members:

Broadband Commission activities in a nutshell


The Spring Meeting of the Commission in Dubai, generously hosted by Mr Sunny Varkey, took place on 13 March 2016 in conjunction with the Global Education & Skills Forum 2016 and brought together leaders seeking solutions to achieving education, equity and employment for all.


New potential targets were discussed, as well as the need to measure:
  • the utilization of selected broadband-enabled public services
  • the choice of statistical indicators to accurately gauge broadband access at the country and community levels
  • the choice of data sources and methodologies for generating accurate, reliable measurement.
The Commission also agreed on the importance of developing National Digital Scorecards to measure progress toward achieving broadband targets.


The 3 Working Groups convened for their first onsite meetings:

BBCOM working group Dubai2
Don’t Miss:

Broadband Commission Meeting in Dubai, soundbites and interviews with New Commissioners.



  • Spanish National Plan for Smart Cities under the umbrella of the Digital Agenda for Spain
    The Digital Agenda for Spain, recognizes that the fundamental role played by smart cities is to contribute to economic growth and to strengthen digital and sustainable societies. The development of smart cities represents an important expansion opportunity for the ICT industry, which should respond by creating new products and solutions to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of services provided in cities. The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism has approved the Plan and has 183 million euros in funding. Read the plan (Spanish only)


  •  According to Korea Times reports, KT will be investing $128.7 million in establishing an NB-IoT network using LTE-M to support the network in Korea. It will also offer about 100,000 IoST sensor modules for developers to spur the IoST business ecosystem.


Other news

  • Mr Amir Dossal, president and CEO of the Global Partnerships Forum, was the recipient of this year’s ICAEW’s Outstanding Achievement Award for his achievements in uniting public and private organizations to address the world’s economic and social challenges. Awarded annually, the award is recognized as the profession’s highest accolade.
  • The Broadband Commission will convene for its annual meeting on September 18th 2016 in New York, in conjunction with the UN General Assembly.
  • Some Commissioners will once again be featured speakers at WSIS Forum 2016, organized by the ITU and other leading agencies, and held in Geneva from 2-6 May 2016.


ICTs and Broadband data and trends snapshot

  • 142 ITU Member States had deployed a total of 693 4G networks by Q1 2016.



  • The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) estimated that the target 9c under new UN Development Goals (SDGs) calling for universal and affordable access in the world’s least developed countries by 2020 will be met only in 2042. Without urgent reform, in 2020 we will see just 16% of people in the world’s poorest countries, and 53% of the world as a whole, connected. The 2015-16 Affordability Report looks at the affordability environment across 51 countries, considers the effects of poverty and income inequality and takes a close look at gender inequality in access. Source: The 2015-16 Affordability Report, A4AIA4AI 2020


  • The European Commission recently published the results of the 2016 edition of the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). The index is an online tool to measure the progress of EU Member States towards a digital economy and society. The findings show that Member States have made progress in areas such as connectivity and digital skills, as well as in public services, since the publication of the Commission’s Digital Single Market Strategy last year- with Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Finland leading the DESI rankings.


ICT, Broadband and 17 Sustainable Development Goals

  • Mr Nasser Bin Hammad, Senior Manager International Affairs, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), UAE was interviewed in the ITUBlog post: Using ICTs to Drive Sustainable Development in UAE. How can countries mobilize technology to help address the challenges laid out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development? Mr Bin Hammad explains how ICTs support the UAE’s progress towards the SDGs goals.


Columns & blogs

  • How can Africa master the Digital Revolution?a blog post by Mr Calestous Juma, Professor of the Practice of International Development, Harvard Kennedy School for the World Economic Forum.
  • Digital connectivity has the potential to do for Africa what railroads did for Western economies in the 19th century. The digital revolution is not only about communication – it’s about recognizing that information is the currency of all economic activities. Despite the rapid adoption of mobile phones, Africa still lags behind other regions in its use of core digital platforms, such as the internet. This is compounded by the high prices charged for critical digital services such as broadband. What must Africa do to be a part of this digital revolution that is sweeping across other regions?
  • Mr R SuriExpanding our Digital Horizons– a blog post by Mr Rajeev Suri, Chief Executive Officer of Nokia and a new Broadband Commissioner.
  • In the new connected world, there is a renewed opportunity to enhance the way people live and work each day – to make the world more productive, prosperous, efficient, safe, healthy, and smart. We are already seeing how the combination of billions of connected devices and sensors, linked to cloud-based analytics that drive automated and intelligent action, can do extraordinary things. Smart cities can be more liveable, sustainable cities. Autonomous driving can save lives and reduce emissions. Remote health care can reduce costs and improve well-being.

In case you missed it


  • The OECD Recommendation on Consumer Protection in E-Commerce published at the end of March 2016, urges countries to modernize their consumer protection laws to address new risks posed by online commerce. According to the OECD, people buying online are entitled to the same level of protection as with conventional transactions. It calls on governments to work with business and consumer groups to determine legal changes that could improve consumer trust in e-commerce.
  • The GSMA released its 5th annual ‘State of the Industry Report on Mobile Money’, according to which, the mobile money accounts increased by 31% to 411 million mobile money accounts today. Mobile is an increasingly critical platform for expanding financial inclusion globally.
  • Ericsson’s 23rd annual Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility Report was released which details performance in 2015 in three areas: responsible business; energy, environment and climate change; and communication for all. The report also highlights how ICT can enable all 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – and even has the potential to accelerate their achievement.


Have a tip? Have a story?



We welcome contributions and suggestions from our readers. From the latest news to anything the development community would want to know, we want to know too!

Please contact us at: