The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development met in Rwanda last weekend to present the World Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC).
During the event, Carlos Slim, Latin America’s richest man and owner of América Moville (Claro), suggested operators should fund users’ cell phones. Slim said it would be ideal for the state to create a program to pay for civic connectivity.
Regarding the carriers, the billionaire said: “They can provide equipment and government programs paying monthly subscriptions for families that qualify, ensuring a fair package with unlimited minutes and ample data. This can be done by many others.” Will support distance learning, e-health and e-commerce among digital services.
Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame also spoke at the event: “We still live in difficult times in terms of economic, political and global public health. The near future is full of uncertainties and risks. But one thing is certain: all the challenges we face can be met faster, better and more equitably by investing in universal and affordable broadband,” Kagame said.
Another important speech was by Houlin Zhao, co-vice-chairman of the commission and general secretary of the ITU (International Telecommunications Unit, or International Telecommunication Union). “One of the challenges we need to overcome is reducing the cost of broadband subscriptions and digital equipment, especially in low- and middle-income economies,” he said.