Taskforces
Trade and Investment

Information and Communication Technologies and Innovation

Dan Reed

Dan Reed

Corporate Vice President of Technology Policy, Microsoft, USA

Carlos Slim

Carlos Slim Domit

Chairman, Grupo Carso SA de CV, Mexico

Members:

Cesar Alierta Izuel
Emilio Azcárraga Jean
Sunil Bharti Mittal
Lourdes Casanova
David M. Cote
Frederico Fleury Curado
Francisco Gonzalez
Aysegul Ildeniz
Balasubramanian Muthuraman
Hamadoun Toure
Blanca Trevino
Ben Verwaayen
Andrew Wyckoff

Information and Communication Technology (ict) has proven to be a major transformative force, driving socioeconomic progress and productivity around the world. When fully deployed, ict has had a positive impact on society as a whole, including individuals, businesses, and governments. However, substantial differences in ict availability between developed and developing countries remain. To address this, the B20 Task Force on ict and Innovation has proposed four “Priority Actions for Los Cabos” to G20 stakeholders. While the task force believes that successful execution of all four priority actions is essential to fully realize the social and economic benefits of ict, we note that two ideas in particular must take priority in order to benefit a larger portion of the population in the shorter term.

B20 TASK FORCE RECOMMENDATIONS, CONCRETE ACTIONS FOR LOS CABOS

B20 TASK FORCE PRIORITIZED RECOMMENDATIONS

I. Enable broadband for all.

Enabling good-quality broadband for all involves understanding the unique environment of each country, cost-efficient construction of physical infrastructure and spectrum management, development of new business models for services, and availability of affordable devices and services for consumers to use.

Metrics and criteria for success

· Double the percentage of people in each G20 country who have affordable access to the Internet.

i) ICT database: Create a database that allows comparability of ict-related indicators across countries and across time (for example, indicators related to coverage, quality, and cost of ict, as well as indicators measuring the economic effects of ict, such as digital literacy levels and e-payments penetration).

Commitments needed

· Telecom ministries from G20 countries should require the publication of ict-related indicators for the private sector.

Commitments made by the task force

· America Movil commits to work in coordination with the International Telecommunication Union (itu) and other multilateral organizations to establish and analyze the indicators to be tracked and the methodology to measure them.

ii) Universal access: Determine universal access goals based on each country’s starting position and invest in creating the appropriate infrastructure for coverage based on the country’s unique circumstances and established goals.

Commitments needed

· Each country needs a local representative who commits to coordinating efforts to establish universal access goals.

Commitments made by the task force

· The ITU commits to evaluate and report on the current ict deployment situation in each country utilizing the indicators described above, and agrees to establish improvement goals for each of the key indicators.

iii) Regulatory framework: Each country should ensure that it has enacted a regulatory framework that creates the incentives and environment to stimulate investment and competition across all sectors of the ict ecosystem. This framework should facilitate use of newer technologies and mechanisms such as dynamic spectrum access to enable economic viability in all areas.

Commitments needed

· Telecom ministries and regulators should commit to adapting the regulatory framework in order to facilitate and promote the needed investments.
· Governments should commit to creating universal service funds and/or establishing public-private partnerships as additional funding mechanisms to accelerate infrastructure development in areas where market mechanisms fail.

II. Develop content and applications for the public good: social inclusion through ICT.

Having access to government services, education, banking, and real-time information such as flight information, traffic, waiting time for certain services, and so on improves and enables society as a whole. For the benefits to be fully realized it is important to provide access to the technologies and information necessary to develop local content and applications; provide access to traditional services for previously underserved population segments through ict content and applications; and leverage ict to create new economic opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs.

i) Development and digital literacy: Develop capabilities and provide access to the technologies necessary to develop local content and applications and improve basic and digital literacy by creating targeted programs to teach ict skills.

Commitments needed

Education ministries and telecom ministries should expand the formal education system to provide programs to improve digital literacy and ict skills.

ii) Regulation: Each country should ensure that it has enacted a regulatory framework that enables developmen and deployment of digital services. For example, financial regulations may need revision to allow mobile banking. Regulations should enable delivery of e-government services.

Commitments needed

· Governments should computerize their administrations, provide public-sector data free of charge or at a marginal cost, and migrate to online services.
· Telecom and finance ministries along with regulators should adapt the regulatory framework in 13order to facilitate and promote new content and application services such as mobile banking, health, education, and government.

iii) Technology platforms: Invest in technology platforms to provide content and applications for the public good.

Commitments needed

· Telecom and finance ministries should work with the private sector to develop and promote financial incentives for investment in the necessary technology platforms to provide content and applications.

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