The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) in an international treaty-based organisation which works to support the development and use of information and communications technologies (ICTs) within the Commonwealth and beyond, promote the provision and use of ICTs to meet the needs of members and ensure the inclusion of marginalised people, and promote effective cooperation and partnership amongst its members and other organisations.
Members of the organisation include full member countries, affiliate member countries, ICT sector members, and academia.
In achieving its goals, the CTO focuses on six key areas:
- Enchanced membership value: Through its Development Assistance Programme, member action plans, and other activities, the CTO works to enhance and deliver value to all its members.
- Regulatory environments: The CTO assists members in the development of regulatory strategies, frameworks, and roadmaps in areas such as spectrum management, interconnection, quality of servive, competition, infrastructure sharing, intellectual property rights, and dispute resolution.
- Universal broadband: The organisation works to encourage the rapid and effective deployment of broadband networks.
- Cybersecurity: In 2013, the CTO launched the Commonwealth Cybergovernance Model, adopted at the Commonwealth ICT Ministers Forum in March 2014. The Model outlines a series of principles to guide the decisions and actions of CTO members with regard to the cyberspace. The organisation then developed a Commonwealth Approach for Developing National Cybersecurity Strategies , aimed to serve as a guide to creating a cohesive and inclusive approach to delivering a safe, secure, and resilient cyberspace.
- Applications: The organisation promotes the development and use of ICT applications for socio-economic development.
- Commonwealth coordination: The CTO strives to coordinate Commonwealth contributions to international ICT meetings.
The activities undertaken by the organisation include capacity development, reserach, technical support, consultancy and advisory services, and events and conferences. In particular, the reserach carried our by the CTO is aimed to support policymaking and regulatory bodies, specialised agencies, and the private sector in understanding the challenges and opportunities new technologies bring, and facilitate evidence-based decision-making.