United Nations: Developing Countries Need Broadband Bootstraps

Because broadband holds the promise of lifting developing countries out of poverty and giving them access to health care, education and social service, penetration targets should be included in the UN's post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

That was the message out of the UN Broadband Commission on Digital Development, which met in Dublin over the weekend. The commission also urged governments to remove barriers to investment.

Among its members is Julius Genachowski, now with The Carlyle Group and formerly chairman of the FCC, where he was an apostle for the value of broadband for all the above social and economic benefits. "High-speed internet is indispensible infrastructure for the 21st century," he said after the Dublin conference.

Denis O’Brien, one of the founding members of the commission, saw even more blue sky in the broadband horizon.

“The long-sought panacea to human poverty may at last be within our reach in the form of broadband networks that empower all countries to take their place in the global economy, overcoming traditional barriers like geography, language and resource constraints,” he said.  

According to the commission, connected devices in the world's top 200 cities is expected to increase from 400 devices per square kilometer to 13,000 per square kilometer.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.