[bestbits] Fwd: Statement from FCC on New U.S. Diplomatic Effort

Carolina Rossini carolina.rossini at gmail.com
Wed Sep 23 08:45:38 EDT 2015

---------- Forwarded message ----------

*'Global Connect' *

*US Initiative Will Examine How To Speed Deployment of Broadband Worldwide,
FCC Official Says *

A new State Department diplomatic initiative will be unveiled at the
U.N. General
Assembly in New York in two weeks, said Phil Verveer, senior counsel to FCC
Chairman Tom Wheeler. Verveer said the ini­tiative is “an effort to try to
coordinate as much development activity as possible” to get another 1.5
billion people online over the next five years. He spoke Thursday at a
Silicon Flatirons Center symposium webcast from Boulder, Colorado.

“That’s a very ambitious goal,” Verveer said. “It’s one that is shared by
other countries.” The U.S. contribution will be in trying to coordinate the
Internet push, he said. The World Bank also will be in­volved, he said.
Estonian President Toomas Hendrik, World Bank Chief Economist Kaushik Basu
and senior State Department officials are expected to be on hand for the
announcement, Verveer said.

“It’s a serious effort to try to promote the idea that telecommunications
investment … ought to enjoy a place and a priority of development that
heretofore roads and electricity and water, things of that nature, have
enjoyed,” said Verveer, who was a State Department official before working
for Wheeler. One basic assumption is “we are better off as more and more
people connect to the Internet,” Verveer said. “There are quite significant
geopolitical benefits as well,” he said. “We benefit if there is order, if
there is prosperity, if there is economic activity.”

To have development, a nation has to have the rule of law and has to
address corruption, “which is endemic in much of the world,” Verveer said.
“You’ve got to have licensing regimes that are sensible, you’ve got to have
legal and regulatory arrangements that are favorable for investment,” he
said. “Some of the elites in some countries show a remarkable resistance to
that set of principles.” U.S. carriers, with the exception of AT&T’s
investment in Mexico, have rarely been engaged in international markets, he
said. “It would have been useful to have U.S. service providers operating
around the world extensively over the last 20 years.”

Verveer also said comparing broadband in the U.S. with deployment in other
nations is complicated. “One can be inspired by the experience of South
Korea” with its very high rates of speed, he said. “But you also have to
stop and consider both the ability of the government in South Korea to
assist with that kind of *10—COMMUNICATIONS DAILY *

Manu K. Bhardwaj

Senior Advisor and Staff Coordinator for IT and Internet Diplomacy Matters

Office of the Under Secretary

(202) 647-9038

Friends and colleagues:

We are pleased to invite you to a high-level panel discussion on *Development
in the Digital Age* co-hosted by Estonia, the USA and the World Bank Group
on September 27th at 11 AM in UNHQ.   At this special event, we will be
joined by the Presidents of Estonia, Tanzania and the World Bank, among
other foreign ministers and dignitaries.

The format will be a panel discussion. During the question-and-answer
session, we would welcome any interested representatives to deliver a
statement on the benefits of broadband as fundamental infrastructure and
vital for the international development agenda.  This event will be open to
the press.  Attached is the Save-the-Date for the event and full concept

Next week, we look forward to unveiling more details about our new
diplomatic initiative first previewed by the Secretary of State in Korea
earlier this summer.   Space is limited, please RSVP to tmadsen at mfa.ee
<javascript:_e(%7B%7D,'cvml','tmadsen at mfa.ee');> as soon as possible.

Pleased with the building momentum to help catalyze action in closing the
digital divide and extend the economic and social benefits of connectivity
to everyone.


Manu (Snr. Political Advisor, Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment,
State) and Ann Mei (Executive Director, Global Development Lab, USAID)

*“So looking to the future, we have to respond to this demand for openness
and opportunity by making steady progress toward closing the digital
divide. And with that goal in mind, the United States State Department will
soon launch a new diplomatic initiative – in combination with partner
countries, development banks, engineers, and industry leaders – and we’re
going to do just that: try to make it more available.”*   --  Secretary
Kerry in Korea on May 18,2015


We are excited about the Secretary Kerry's remarks in Korea
<http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2015/05/242553.htm> today that
highlight the State Department's and USAID's commitment to global
connectivity.  As the Secretary said, looking to the future, we have to
make steady progress towards Internet freedom and closing the digital
divide.  With that goal in mind, the United States will soon be launching a
new diplomatic initiative - in combination with friends, regional
development banks, and industry leaders - to do just that.

In the coming weeks, the State Department and USAID will be reaching out to
all of you to explore areas for partnership as we develop this new
connectivity initiative. We are actively exploring opportunities to improve
connectivity health information systems in West Africa (in the recovery
from Ebola), digital financial systems in India, and internet access and
usage across the world. Please don't hesitate to contact my team at the
Global Development Lab or Manu Bhardwaj, the State Department's Senior
Advisor and Staff Coordinator for IT and Internet Diplomacy Matters, copied


Ann Mei (USAID/Lab) and Manu (State/Economic Growth, Energy, and the


Ann Mei Chang | Executive Director

U.S. Global Development Lab l USAID

*www.usaid.gov/GlobalDevLab <http://www.usaid.gov/GlobalDevLab>*

Twitter: @annmei <https://twitter.com/annmei>


*Carolina Rossini *
*Vice President, International Policy*
*Public Knowledge*
*http://www.publicknowledge.org/ <http://www.publicknowledge.org/>*
+ 1 6176979389 | skype: carolrossini | @carolinarossini
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