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Digital inclusion sought for inter-American connectivity through broadband roll out


19 July 2012

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The Connect Americas Summit called for a surge in the roll out of broadband connectivity in the Americas region and ‘digital inclusion’ to enable universal, sustainable, ubiquitous and affordable access to information and communication technologies (ICT) and services for all.

Digital inclusion implies that everyone, in particular indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, women, girls, youth and children can use accessible and affordable ICTs as tools for their social and economic development.

Addressing the Summit, the President of the Republic of Panama, H.E. Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal emphasized the need for Internet connectivity costs to be reduced so that people not only in Panama but across the world will have access to affordable broadband networks. He said, “The choice of Panama to host the summit, recognizes the progress made by my Government's digital inclusion, connectivity and Internet use.”

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré recognized President Berrocal’s ‘Internet for All’ initiative aimed at bringing free Internet access to the citizens of Panama and presented him with the World Telecommunication and Information Society Award.

The President of Costa Rica H.E. Laura Chinchilla Miranda, patron of ITU’s on Child Online Protection initiative, highlighted the importance of strengthening security in cyberspace, especially to keep online predators at bay. In her keynote address at the Summit, President Chinchilla said, “The younger generations of the planet are legitimate heirs to the fortune that offers tremendous technological developments of our time. With just a gesture of their hands, they have the opportunity to deliver to them the history of mankind, to travel all over the world, to venture into all the facets of science, and to interact with those who want to regardless of race, age, nationality or geographical location. This great technological revolution of our time belongs to them, yet we must prevent that enjoyment from being stained. We want them to explore with ease and security, the wonderful world of the Internet, confident in their desire to learn with the protection we can give them.”

Vice President and Presidential designate of Honduras affirmed that the Connect Americas Summit aims to make efficient use of existing resources in the field of ICT which are an essential component for social development and economic growth. He said, “It is common knowledge that ICTs are essential tools for promoting efficiency and transparency in public administration and strengthening the productivity of nations by streamlining productivity.”

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Source : ITU

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