Broadband Leadership Summit 2011, 24 - 25 October 2011 - Geneva
Outcomes of the Broadband Leadership Summit
Broadband for the Global Good: Report summarizing the key outcomes and conclusions of the Broadband Leadership Summit.
The Broadband Challenge: Issued in October 2011 to world leaders, top policy-makers, industry leaders, users and consumers during the Broadband Leadership Summit.
Broadband Targets for 2015: Issued in October 2011. Ambitious but achievable targets: The Broadband Commission has set four clear, new targets for making broadband policy universal and for boosting affordability and broadband uptake.
The Opening Plenary featured a number of top CEOs and Ministers debating the benefits of broadband. It explored the role of broadband as critical infrastructure for promoting economic growth, trade and productivity, especially in view of today’s challenging economic climate. As broadband infrastructure is rolled out in different countries around the world, the information, knowledge and education that can be provided via broadband services are fast becoming global public goods. What are the implications for the broader benefits conferred by broadband? This Plenary explored the consequences, with high-level policy perspectives provided by Ministers from Australia and the Russian Federation and the Director-General of the OECD. A further Plenary explored the implications of the current resurgence of the financial crisis for the financing of broadband networks and services.
The Summit included two Plenary Sessions (2b and 3b) dedicated to emerging market issues and opportunities. These Sessions explored the optimal devices for accessing the Internet in emerging markets, and how access can be extended across all segments of the purchasing pyramid. Broadband promises to transform the provision of healthcare and education in developed and developing countries alike. But what are the real opportunities and benefits of broadband for achieving the MDGs? Heads of State of developing countries put across their vision of how broadband infrastructure and services can best be put to work for the maximum benefit of people in developing countries.
The Summit also featured several Plenary Sessions dedicated to industry issues. Session 2a set out visions for our networked future, examining all the areas in which investments must be made to smarten up society. Technology does not just grow in a vacuum, but must be accompanied by investments in innovation, the provision of next-generation services and regulation to generate a smart society – the CEOs of leading operators and manufacturers put across their views on what it takes to create smart societies. But can the supply of infrastructure keep up with the explosion in demand and growth of traffic? This is the central question that was explored at length in Plenary 3a.
There were two Plenary Sessions dedicated specifically to content issues. Recent events have seen social media used as a tool for real-time reporting from earthquake zones or as a powerful catalyst for social transformation. However, the speed and scale of online social media have proved difficult for authorities to match, in both the Arab uprisings and recent UK riots alike. A Plenary on social media explored the lessons learned from recent events, while the Closing Plenary examined whether national governments are any match for the global online giants. Do concepts of cyber-sovereignty even apply to cyber-space these days? Does it even make sense to talk of one worldwide web, or are parallel online worlds developing? The Closing Plenary emphasized our shared aspirations and what’s at stake in the development of a broadband-enabled future.
The Broadband Leadership Summit took the pulse of the global broadband industry at this pivotal time for the global economy.