Home » Broadband Speed »Public Policy & Gov't »Video » Currently Reading:

Qatar Declares Broadband A Citizen Right; Says Everyone Should Have Broadband By 2015

Phillip Dampier March 8, 2012 Broadband Speed, Public Policy & Gov't, Video 1 Comment

Every Arab citizen should have access to broadband by the year 2015.  That is the declaration of Dr. Hessa al-Jaber, secretary general of Qatar’s Supreme Council of Information Technology (ictQATAR), who described broadband as an absolute “citizen right” at the opening of the Connect Arab Summit 2012.

“Our target by 2015 should be that no one is denied access to any form of digital communication, and everyone is part of the connected web regionally and globally,” al-Jaber said, noting the target was consistent with her belief broadband should be considered “the simplest form of digital communications we will accept for our times.”

The Middle East is one of the fastest growing regions for broadband development as Arab governments increasingly deploy technology in an effort to grow the economy in the region.  While many oil-producing states have invested the earnings from high oil prices in technological infrastructure, most governments believe the Middle East cannot be economically sustained through the sale of fossil fuels alone.  Economic diversification is a key to sustained growth, and al-Jaber explained broadband is an absolutely essential component in those efforts.

al-Jaber

“If we want to grow our economies at a pace exceeding 7% year-on-year and over sustained periods so that income and output double every decade, create 75 million jobs by 2020, and create societies that can achieve the level progressiveness that our century demands, then we must be equipped with the digital technologies that will support our march into this prosperous future,” al-Jaber said.

Research obtained by ictQATAR found that just a 10% improvement in digitization can trigger a 0.6% gain in GDP and nearly a 1% decline in unemployment.  Broadband can also deliver a marked increase in innovation.

al-Jaber also noted many Arab region countries have made substantial progress in broadband development, some threatening to exceed the broadband rankings of countries in North America and Europe.

But the Internet can also remain a threat to countries in the region that maintain strict control on information and see the Internet as a potential threat.

“We find it disheartening that other Arab nations are severely falling behind in terms of network readiness, even in relation to their economic standing,” al-Jaber said, sidestepping the politically sensitive issue.

Other attendees noted broadband expansion in the region is outpacing that in more developed countries, and could deliver a “game-changer” for the Arab world to leap ahead of countries like the United States and Canada.

Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute and a member of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development told the Gulf Times developing countries could leverage broadband as “a chance for convergence of progress, and for poor countries to leap ahead” of more developed societies and economies.

[flv width=”640″ height=”380″]http://www.phillipdampier.com/video/ITU Interview Nagwa El-Shenawy Egypt 3-12.flv[/flv]

Egypt, one of the focal points of the “Arab Spring” movement, is set to transform itself in part through embracing broadband as a democratization tool and resource for the country’s citizens. Nagwa El-Shenawy, Information Center Director of Egypt’s Ministry of Communications is interviewed about broadband development in Egypt.  She cited a need to expand broadband service into more parts of Egypt and keep the price affordable for all citizens.  Capacity building is key to building robust infrastructure across the Arab Region.  (6 minutes)

Subjects covered include: capacity building and the state of ICT’s within the Arab Region. The new internet Portal announced at the Connect Arab Summit 2012.

Currently there is 1 comment on this Article:

  1. Andrew Madigan says:

    Of course, we can expect that Qatar will continue to censor this “broadband internet access” just as it censors all forms of internet access. They don’t really want their citizens to have full internet access.

Search This Site:

Contributions:

Recent Comments:

  • LG: Truly disgusting. Every time something like this happens, it further erodes trust and belief in our government. At this point, I think 3/4 of this c...
  • George: 802.11ax with 8x8:8 MIMO streams are hitting the market, and Comcast is stuck in the past with 2 stream MIMO on 802.11ac, playing ping-pong with high ...
  • K Richner: These apparently are just Plume Pods with custom Firmware I own 12 Plume Pods! That are not locked to a isp this is a rip off since they cost about th...
  • Paul Houle: There is hope for fixed wireless, at least for me, since I have no hope for Frontier. I have investigated some wireless offerings from MVNOs and si...
  • Ian Littman: Counterpoint: mmWave based 5G is going to be a bear to deploy, to the point that 5G NR from T-Mo et al will likely have nationwide coverage before mmW...
  • Butch Kara: We still have Centurylink DSL (or should I say, we have it when it works) supposedly 1.5Mbps, but usually 0.6 or slower (right now around 0.2). and ha...
  • Lee: Seems I need to amend my post about the closed fiber optic loop system. Frontier Communications is not installing it. It is an expansion of the Elkhar...
  • James: In the beginning I was hopeful of Frontier a good review but I just zcan't do it.. we switched from comcrooks recently oct. '17, the phone reps screwe...
  • Lee: Change the name from Spectrum to Speculum....
  • Lee: I am in Indiana. I used my Street Atlas program to figure they are installing 6.5 miles of underground fiber optic along the roads between the two sch...
  • Bob: I have Mohu Leaf antennas on both TV's and I get the locals that way also. All I know is that as a former regular DirecTV customer, they are trying v...
  • Phillip Dampier: Institutional broadband. Frontier owns the network that taxpayers subsidize and Frontier gets to charge whatever it wants for service on that network....

Your Account: