UN broadband commission advocates for digital transformation through the enhancement of broadband networks

28 May 2019 02:00h

Event report

The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development held a meeting at the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, San Francisco Bay Area, California, on 28-29 April, under the theme ‘Shaping the future of broadband for sustainable development.’

The meeting, which was attended by stakeholders representing the industry, governments, academia, and UN agencies, looked at the work currently undertaken by the Commission’s Working Groups alongside its achievements. It further discoursed the various approaches that could be embraced to accelerate digital transformation and the investment strategies that create an informed, inclusive, secured, and sustainable online environment.

‘Creating an attractive environment for investment in digital infrastructure must be one of our top priorities in order to achieve our goal of connecting the remaining half of the global population. Future networks like 5G and other emerging technologies are set to play a pivotal role in the digital economy. Our task is to ensure that they can benefit everyone, everywhere,’ noted ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. Three Broadband Commission Working Groups – Child Safety On-line, Digital Infrastructure Moonshot for Africa, and Freedom of Expression and Tackling Online Disinformation – organised onsite sessions during the meeting. Furthermore, two more new working groups on artificial intelligence for global health and on school connectivity were further proposed.