New York, 21 September 2013
Mr. Carlos Slim Helu, Co-Chair of the Broadband Commission;
Vice Co-Chairs of the Broadband Commission, Dr. Hamadoun Toure, and Ms. Irina Bokova;
Ladies and gentlemen;
It is my pleasure to be with you as we once again meet to assess our progress in advancing the Commission’s broadband agenda.
It is clear we have to invest more in broadband because it accelerates economic growth and impacts positively on the lives of people.
Going forward, the Commission’s work should focus on strengthening policy orientations that make broadband universally accessible.
For example, we have found that the model whereby private operators build parallel infrastructure, and compete to provide services in a few lucrative geographical areas is
problematic. It duplicates network deployment costs, hampers economies of scale, and affects accessibility and affordability of services.
A better model is one that presents broadband as an efficiently built and shared utility.
This is the kind of model that we have adopted in Rwanda. The Government of Rwanda and Korea Telecom have established a joint venture, which will build and operate one single,
wholesale 4G LTE nationwide network, to be accessed by all retail broadband service providers on an open access basis. We believe this will accelerate rollout and affordability of
broadband services for Rwandans.
Beyond 2015, the way forward should be to unleash the smart use of broadband. It is one thing to have the infrastructure and the tools in place; it is another to use them in a profitable
We need to use broadband more to enhance delivery of services in education, health care, banking and other sectors.
Broadband should also empower young people in the developing world to innovate and be more competitive globally.
Let me conclude by thanking the Commissioners for your continued efforts and commitment to the broadband agenda.
I thank you all and look forward to an interesting and productive discussion today.