Access to broadband vital for sustainable development, says Ooredoo Group CEO
October 15 2019 12:58 AM
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Sheikh Saud bin Nasser al-Thani
Sheikh Saud bin Nasser al-Thani, Group CEO, Ooredoo.

Ooredoo is “passionate about mobile technology as a tool to bring positive social and economic change across the communities in which it operates,” said Group CEO Sheikh Saud bin Nasser al-Thani.
He was referring to a new report issued in New York by the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development.
Sheikh Saud said, “A philosophy that Ooredoo shares with the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development is that access to broadband is vital for sustainable development. Ooredoo is passionate about mobile technology as a tool to bring positive social and economic change across the communities in which we operate. Across our footprint, we are investing to help our networks reach the world’s most remote and underserved communities, while working to become digital enablers, empowering people with
access to digital services.”
Traditional approaches to driving Internet network roll-out and uptake are failing to reach the remaining half of the global population still lacking online access, according to a new report issued in New York by the Broadband Commission for Sustainable
Development.
To counter slowing global growth, the report advocates for new collaborative strategies to drive the concept of ‘meaningful universal connectivity’ through greater emphasis on resource sharing and a more holistic approach that treats broadband as a basic public utility and vital enabler of global development.
The notion of ‘meaningful universal connectivity’ encompasses broadband that is available, accessible, relevant and affordable, but also that is safe, trusted, user-empowering and leads to positive impact. The report advocates for this new concept to underpin policy makers’ new digital strategies, as governments seek to find new ways to finance network roll-out and reach unconnected
populations.
The State of Broadband 2019: Broadband as Foundation for Sustainable Development reveals that global growth in the percentage of households connected to the Internet is slowing, rising only slightly to 54.8% from 53.1% last year. In low-income countries, household Internet adoption improved by a mere 0.8% on average.
Data on individuals using the Internet also indicated slowing global growth in 2018, as well as a slowing growth in developing countries, which are home to the vast majority of the estimated 3.7bn still unconnected.
“Our collective ownership to implement the Commission’s recommendations will necessitate all of us to provide resources – both financial and technical know-how – to create the much-needed impact of our work,” noted Paula Ingabire, Minister of ICT and Innovation, Republic of Rwanda, representing President Paul Kagame, who co-chairs the Commission.
“Connecting the world’s population to the Internet is about collaboration, collective approaches and partnerships – among different stakeholders, across different sectors and across borders,” said fellow Commission co-chair Carlos Slim.
“It is about understanding the needs of people in terms of connectivity, literacy, and access to content in different formats and languages, and services. It is about bringing the costs of services and devices down. And it is about empowering people who lack standard basic ICT skills with the means to participate in the digital ecosystem.”



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