ITU Conference Sets 2020 Broadband Connect Agenda

Includes More Affordable Broadband by 2020

Countries participating in the 2014 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-14) in Busan, South Korea, 171 of them including the U.S., have unanimously committed to a Connect 2020 Agenda, a strategic plan for an "interconnected world," setting targets to be achieved by 2020.

It is described as an effort to create an "information society, empowered by the interconnected world, where telecommunication/ICT enables and accelerates socially, economically and environmentally sustainable growth and development for everyone” based on what it calls the four pillars: growth, inclusiveness, sustainability, and innovation and partnerships and is meant to encompass government, the private sector, academia and civil society groups.

Those include that, worldwide, 55% of households should have access to the Internet, 60% should be using the Internet, and 40% of broadband should be "more affordable."

The targets are lower for developing nations.

Among the other targets for 2020 are to improve cybersecurity awareness by 40%, reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated by the telecommunications/ICT sector by 30%, achieving gender equality of Internet use and getting broadband to  90% of the rural population.

“The Connect 2020 Agenda ensures that we can join forces to harness the power of these technologies so that everyone around the world can benefit from access," said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré following the adoption of the plan.

PP-14 is a quadrennial conference at which international telecommunications policy is reviewed and set.