Smart is disrupting our world for the better – as ITU Telecom World 2017 recognises in its annual debate, networking and exhibition event, focusing this year on “Smart digital transformation.” But a smart society is dependent upon ICT infrastructure and networks like never before. And in a world where some 3.9 billion citizens remain offline, there is a very real danger that smart transformation will improve the lives of those in developed markets to a far greater extent than those in emerging nations.
The digital divide will deepen into a smart chasm, leaving the unconnected ever further behind, ever more remote from the multiple socio-economic benefits access to ICTs offers.(123rf)It is imperative to work on closing that gap, on increasing the deployment and use of the broadband networks which are so critical to delivering key services to improve quality of life. In today’s world, there’s no disputing the social and economic benefits broadband brings with it. Whether fixed, mobile or hybrid, broadband networks kick-start development, producing a direct, positive and measurable impact on economies. Broadband improves efficiency, communications and the circulation of goods and services, creating new markets, innovations and access to the knowledge economy.