Al Mansoori confirms UAE’s continued support for developing countries
H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), discussed the contents and implications of the ‘State of Broadband 2016: Broadband Catalyzing Sustainable Development’ report and the role of a wide range of telecommunication technologies in supporting growth in various countries during his participation in the regular meeting of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development held early this week in New York, USA. The assembly evaluated and reviewed the Commission’s work, defined future work plans and exchanged knowledge on how to employ broadband services in achieving sustainable development.
The annual report provides a comprehensive evaluation of the development of broadband services worldwide, with a particular emphasis on its impact on economic development. It provides extensive data about every country’s ability to access broadband services based on major targets set by the Broadband Commission in 2011.
H.E. Al Mansoori affirmed with International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Secretary-General Houlin Zhao the UAE’s continuing support to developing countries, especially Arab states, to help them successfully migrate to Internet Protocol Version 6. The State of Broadband 2016 report has identified around 48 less developed countries that have notably advanced in this area, meeting the Commission’s target to provide internet services for 15 per cent of the population in developing countries.
The report expects the number of internet users to reach 3.5 billion by the end of 2016 – equivalent to 47 per cent of the world population based on ITU statistics. The report noted that the major role of broadband telecommunications services is to promote economic development, social cohesion and environmental protection, if those services become accessible and affordable to people.
H.E. Al Mansoori highlighted the importance of reducing the gender gap in information and communications technology (ICT) during the meeting, noting that more efforts are required to achieve higher scores in sustainable development and gender equality. He also announced the nomination of the UAE General Women’s Union for the Gender Balance Award.
He further emphasized the importance of broadband technology in acquiring and sharing knowledge with others, as well as increasing education opportunities for women and girls especially in developing countries. He also urged the use of local multi-language content.
The Director General also discussed the UAE’s support to the ITU Council Working Group as coordinator for member Arab countries, in addition to the assistance being extended by the country to the Secretary General’s Consulting Committee which is planning for the ITU’s building headquarters. He voiced the UAE’s desire to name the biggest hall in the building in honor of the UAE, suggesting it be called Zayed Hall, UAE Hall or Gulf Hall.
H.E. touched on the UAE’s hosting of ITU Plenipotentiary Conference 2018, along with its hosting of the next Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) conference as well as the nomination of positions during the 2018 Plenipotentiary Conference.
Broadband is one of the major technology solutions paving the way for faster internet speed; increasing its bandwidth will enable organizations to provide innovative services supported by high-quality flow of information. It contributes significantly to the UAE’s efforts to achieve smart transformation, especially through huge projects involving Big Data, smart buildings, and the Internet of Things, among others.