15 December 2012

ITU passes resolution in support of small island developing states' need for access to international fibre-optic networks

Yesterday the World Conference on International Telecommunications hold in Dubai by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a UN agency, has passed a resolution to support landlocked developing countries (LLDC) and small island developing states (SIDS) to gain access to international fibre-optic networks. Resolution "PLEN/1" highlights the importance of telecommunications and new information and communication technologies (ICT) to the development of LLDCs and SIDS and states that access to international fibre-optic networks will promote their integral development and the potential for them to create their own information society.
It "invites [all ITU] Member States

  • to cooperate with LLDCs [landlocked developing countries] and SIDS [small island developing states] in promoting regional, subregional, multilateral and bilateral projects and programmes for telecommunication infrastructure integration that afford LLDCs and SIDS greater access to international fibre-optic networks;
  • to assist LLDCs and SIDS and transit countries in executing telecommunication infrastructure integration projects and programmes"
(source: Final Acts World Conference on International Telecommunications, Dubai 2012, Resolution PLEN/1, p.16)

The UK did not sign this resolution which was approved along several other regulations due to disputes over governance matters of the revised International Telecommunications Regulations.
Members of the British delegation to the ITU conference were understood to be aware of the plans to land the South Atlantic Express cable on St Helena. One member noted that resolutions in the treaty were, in any case, non-binding, even for states that sign up to it.

High-speed broadband would be huge for education. Not only could we make better use of online materials, but with affordable broadband teachers could develop their practice from home.
I'm an IT engineer and I would love to return to my island to start an IT business, but because of the slow, expensive and unreliable internet connection this is simply impossible.
I had to leave St Helena to study. Being 5000 miles away from my family and friends is hard. Not being able to skype with them due to the slow and expensive internet on St Helena is even harder.
Socioeconomic status is now heavily reliant on broadband penetration. With the ever-growing importance of the internet, St Helena with its limited access is in danger of being left behind.