"At this preparatory meeting in
Once every four years ITU organizes a
Referring to the challenges and key issues brought to this preparatory meeting, the deputy secretary general said: "In my opinion, ICT has made a lot of progress. Since two decades there is remarkable progress of the ICT. However, despite this there are those people who have not benefitted from the modern ICT technologies and have not been connected. These are people living in the poor areas of the world."
From the market point of view connecting to these people might not be fruitful. The return on investment might not look lucrative, said Zhao.
In the urban areas it is claimed that the penetration is high, but then there is the issue of cluttering of lines per individual – with one individual holding more than one line. This results in wrong findings. Then there are the old and the very young. The young have to be protected from wrong influences. Monitoring of such influences is a must, the deputy secretary general said.
In comments on the pooling of resources to connect the not so well off, he said: "We look at all bodies including the governments, the non-governmental organizations, corporate and the whole ICT family to make this happen. We allow this and ask those who have benefitted to help reach out so that those who are deprived now can be benefitted."
The ICT sector in
"It has enjoyed a very high ranking among the regional countries. The Arab region, by virtue of the funds from hydrocarbons is moving up faster and closing the bridge with the more advanced countries of the world – the American and European region. We could look at these regions and
ICT technologies and the mobile technology have grown much and benefitted economies. It is important to ensure that those who do not enjoy even the basic facilities are made a part of this technology. Therefore the push now is on broadband technology rather than on mobile technology, Zhao added.
The social media also had a key role to play as the huge impetus that it received resulted in larger penetration and more usability, he added.
"Providing more bandwidth is a must because people are more hungry for bandwidth. Another factor is mobility. Going ahead people will look more to services than the infrastructure. That would create an open competition. It would be competition to utilise the services using the available infrastructure," he said.
Going from the heavily regulated markets to a market with lighter regulation, is expected to see a shrinking of the regulator's role. Market forces will drive demand, he said.
"The Arab content is one of the issues being brought forward. This is a regional issue and deserves high consideration. Content in Arabic language is only less than one per cent in the sphere of the internet. Considering that Arabic is one of the main languages at the UN, this is contradicting," he added. It is important to increase the knowledge and content,"
Another issue is services for people with special needs. "Technology as it exists is for the normal person. However, there are the less fortunate. It is important to involve them in this activity. There is also a need for curbing misuse of this technology. Issues of over 22 countries are being discussed, he added. This regional meeting forms part of the meetings held all over the world to prepare for the
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