Narrow the digital gap eliminates barriers to growth

This is a statement made by many delegates at the session on the topic “Narrow broadband gap” at the Digital World Conference and Exhibition (ITU Digital World 2020).

Access to the Internet is a basic need of all people

According to Antonio Nunes – CEO of Angola Cable – a multinational telecommunications company from Angola, Internet has become an essential part of everyone’s life.

We need infrastructure to drive economic growth. Without the Internet, telecom infrastructure, we would not be able to trade during the Covid-19 epidemic. If we continue to digitize, we will be able to maintain economic growth. For people, they can work anywhere without going to the company, Nunes said.

International delegates attending the Digital World Conference and Exhibition (ITU Digital World 2020).

Angela Siefer – Executive Director of the National Digitalization Alliance (NDIA), said that awareness of ensuring fairness in digital access is gradually improving. This was immediately recognized in both federal and US state agencies.

In the US, many state governments have begun working towards building networks to ensure the availability of the Internet and the accessibility of the people, that is accessible to everyone. This is very important because once perceptions change, people will not be able to go backwards but can only move forward.

Narrow the digital gap eliminates barriers to growth
Angela Siefer – Executive Director of the National Digitalization Alliance (NDIA), said the world has taken a very long step in awareness towards narrowing the digital gap. Photo: Trong Dat

With Vietnam, Mr. Thieu Phuong Nam – General Director of Qualcomm in Indochina said that the Vietnamese government is very active in promoting digital transformation nationwide.

Not only that, the Ministry of Information and Communications of Vietnam has also issued a policy aimed at giving each person a smartphone and each household with a broadband optical cable. This is how Vietnam makes the Internet accessible to all people.

The digital gap is a barrier to growth

Mr. Stewart White – CEO of AKHET Consulting said that if you look at the unemployment rate caused by Covid-19, the weak telecommunications infrastructure is also the cause of the high unemployment rate.

In areas where WiFi and fiber are not available, it is difficult for people there to work remotely. On the whole, they were at a disadvantage compared to colleagues working in more fortunate places. For students and students, the lack of access to the Internet will make it difficult for them to keep up with the school curriculum because of the loss of online learning opportunities.

Narrow the digital gap eliminates barriers to growth
Mr. Stewart White – CEO of AKHET Consulting. Photo: Trong Dat

According to Ralph Mupita – CEO of MTN network of South Africa, telecommunications infrastructure must stand at a high position in the list of needs of the people.

During the crisis caused by Covid-19, millions of people around the world had no access to the Internet. People in remote areas have suffered more disadvantages due to the difficulty of accessing health care and education services due to geographical distances.

This gap will be gradually narrowed if these people have access to telecommunications infrastructure. Therefore, it is necessary to bring Internet access opportunities to remote and disadvantaged areas.

Narrow the digital gap eliminates barriers to growth
Mr. Ralph Mupita – CEO of South Africa network operator MTN. Photo: Trong Dat

Many experts said that the “digital gap” is rooted in the fact that private enterprises always want high profit margins, while service provision to disadvantaged groups do not bring profit as expected.

Trade pressure is one of the main reasons why the world has not been able to fulfill its goal of erasing the digital gap. Many firms see a market gap there but are still hesitant to make investment decisions.

Enterprises also expect the stability of the legal environment and the potential of the market if they study long-term investment. To solve this problem, it is necessary to promote the public-private partnership model, in which the state must have appropriate mechanisms and policies to encourage and support enterprises.

Together, the world must narrow the digital gap

In general, at the conference, both domestic and foreign experts agreed with the statement that this is the time when the world must join hands to define priorities to speed up the popularization of broadband and reception. narrow the number gap.

According to Houzin Zhao – General Secretary of the World Telecommunication Union (ITU), similar to water and air, the connection to the Internet and communication are fundamental rights to help ensure people’s lives.

Narrow the digital gap eliminates barriers to growth
Secretary General of the World Telecommunication Union (ITU) – Houzin Zhao. Photo: Trong Dat

“Unlike electricity and water, the telecommunications market, broadband Internet is very competitive with active participation from the private sector. Therefore, we absolutely have the opportunity to invest in improving the quality of our infrastructure and expanding our network. In order to do this, it is of course necessary to have coordination mechanisms from the government side. ”, Said Mr. Houzin Zhao.

In this process, government agencies play a central role in setting incentives. For example, in the form of grants, sponsorships, guarantees, standards, regulations, and mechanisms to support businesses.

To close the digital divide, what governments need to do is increase user access and technology availability.

In particular, accessibility must be improved by developing digital skills and popularizing these skills to groups of children and the elderly. In this regard, more than ever, the participation of the entire community is extremely important.

The Digital World Conference and Exhibition (ITU Digital World 2020) is currently being held from October 20-22 in an online form.

By increasing the availability of technology, this can be improved by using satellite transmission technology to bring broadband Internet to remote, remote areas. In addition, it is necessary to increase coverage of 3G, 4G and develop other technologies to expand coverage.

In addition, it is necessary to develop models of mobile devices with affordable prices (under 20 USD) and reduce service costs so that all citizens can use the Internet.

Many experts also suggest applying a certain level of criteria to the number of affordable services. This is similar to the fact that in some places, the number of social housing must account for about 30% of the total number of apartments in a housing project.

Only when the availability of technology and the reach of the users are enhanced will the digital gap in the world narrow.

Trong Dat


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