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Avanti insists satellites key to bridging sub-Saharan Africa's digital divide

26 сентября 2012

Satellites are critical to ensuring people living in sub-Saharan Africa can get access to broadband services.

This claim, made on Tuesday, was not altogether surprising given the source: a new report sponsored by satellite network provider Avanti Communications, undertaken by the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO).

African ICT ministers in June set a target of reaching 80% broadband penetration by 2020, a task that the CTO believes comes with considerable challenges, particularly since right now 341 million people live beyond the reach of fibre-based broadband networks.

Without using satellites as a complementary technology, the report claimed 40% of sub-Saharan Africa will be unable to access broadband services.

The report "provides further evidence for the role of satellite broadband in reaching beyond the bounds of terrestrial and wireless networks," said Avanti CEO David Williams, in a statement, who added that he was "delighted" by the CTO's findings.

The CTO called on policy makers across the continent to recognise the role that satellites can play in delivering broadband access and the resulting economic growth that goes with it.

The report follows calls on Monday by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)'s Broadband Commission to address persistent discrepancies in the affordability of broadband services between developed and developing countries.

The study highlighted 19 LDCs (least developed countries) where the price of broadband exceeds average monthly income, compared to 2% of income in 49 largely industrialised economies. The ITU recommended governments focus on facilitating competition, tiered levels of service, subsidies, and price regulation as a means of making broadband more affordable.

Источник: Total Telecom

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