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Is it possible to eliminate the digital divide in a ubiquitous

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					Is it possible to eliminate the digital divide in a ubiquitous network society?
Dr Tim Kelly, Head, Strategy and Policy Unit International Telecommunication Union WSIS Thematic Meeting on Ubiquitous Network Society, Tokyo, 16-17 May 2005
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WSIS Declaration of Principles
Universal, ubiquitous, equitable and affordable access to ICT infrastructure and services, constitutes one of the challenges of the Information Society and should be an objective of all stakeholders involved in building it. (Para 21) We are fully committed to turning this digital divide into a digital opportunity for all, particularly for those who risk being left behind and being further marginalized. (Para 10)
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Universal or Ubiquitous?
Universal connectivity
Available Accessible Affordable % of population with telephone access, 2002
65 94

Ubiquitous connectivity
Anywhere Anytime by Anything by Anyone
97 81

Developing (excl. China China and India and India)

Developed

World

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Source: ITU World Telecommunication Development Report 2003: Access Indicators for the Information Society.

The newer the technology, the less even the global distribution 2004
Broadband Internet users Mobile phones Fixed lines TV sets Population 0% 20% Middle and lower income economies 40% 60% 80% High income economies

150m 730m 1.8bn 1.2bn 1.2bn 6.3bn
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100%

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Source: ITU World Telecommunication Indicators Database.

Today’s ubiquitous applications may be suitable mainly to developed economies …
Road pricing schemes Contactless skipasses, using RFID chips Using technology to make ageing more comfortable RFID chips in passports
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… But tomorrow’s ubiquitous applications will be suitable to developing economies
Inventory management Traffic congestion for offshore management manufacturing Livestock tracking at Chitale Dairy Farm, India Environmental monitoring and disaster relief

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Is it possible to eliminate the digital divide in a ubiquitous network society? No! but it is possible to reduce its extent and its impact
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websites: www.itu.int/ubiquitous www.itu.int/wsis contact: tim.kelly@itu.int

Thank you
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