News & Media Releases
|World Bank Attacks Digital Divide Scheme|
A new report by the World Bank disputes the basis of the Digital Solidarity Fund, a mechanism designed to transfer funds and expertise from developed nations to spur ICT expansion in underdeveloped nations.
According to the World Bank report, the growth of telecommunications services in poor countries indicates that the digital divide is rapidly closing. "People in the developing world are getting more access at an incredible rate - far faster than they got access to new technologies in the past," the report says.
The World Bank report states that competitive, well-regulated, private investment in ICTs is more important and influential for further narrowing the digital divide than public or international contributions.
The Digital Solidarity Fund, to be inaugurated on 14 March 2005 in Geneva, maintains that the digital revolution increasingly disempowers the majority of the world's population who lack basic skills, resources and infrastructure. The Fund aims to encourage North-South cooperation in ICT, using mechanisms such as the Geneva Principle, in which vendors of public ICT contracts in the city of Geneva contribute 1% of their profits to the Fund.
In its recent Preparatory Committee for the upcoming World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the United Nations welcomed the creation of the Digital Solidarity Fund.
Use this link to go to the Digital Solidarity Fund website.
Use this link to go to the WSIS website.
Use this link to read the report from the World Bank on private investment in ICTs.
ConferencesFunding OpportunitiesInternationalNew PublicationNew Service AnnouncementTraining
- ACA to Offer Private Spectrum Band Management
Government organisations, communities and industries will soon have a chance of managing radiofrequency spectrum bands (ZDNet Australia, 8 February 2005). ACA is seeking expressions of interest.
- Agreement on Voluntary Support for Digital Divide Fund
Negotiators at a meeting for the World Summit on the Information Society have agreed to make contributions to the Digital Solidarity Fund voluntary and not mandatory (Linux World, 1 March 2005).
- Anderson Fears for Rural Internet Services
Deputy Prime Minister John Anderson on Wednesday expressed major concern about the lack of competition a privatised Telstra might face in providing internet services to rural and regional Australia. (Financial Review, 2 March 2005)
- Call for Tax to Bridge Digital Divide
The Digital Solidarity Fund suggests wealthy nations should tax investment in technology to buy mobile phones and computers for poor nations (ABC News in Science, 15 March 2005).
- ELearning Symposium Showing How New Technology Can Improve Teaching
An innovative Bracks Government initiative 'eLearning Symposium for Education' is encouraging schools to embrace new technologies to improve teaching.
- Government Purchasing Strategy Delivers Mobile Broadband for Victorians
The Victorian Minister for Information and Communication Technology, Marsha Thomson, has launched a $6.5 million expansion of Telstra's mobile broadband network. (Victorian Government media release).
- Group Puts $100 Laptops in Poor Countries
MIT Media Lab is creating a rugged, Internet- and multimedia-capable laptop computer for US$100 each.
- Hume Speeds Ahead with ADSL Broadband
Murrambateman, Gunning and Appin in the electorate of Hume will receive ADSL broadband.
- Tasmanian Power Company to Supply Broadband
Tasmania's electricity supplier, Aurora, plans to provide broadband internet access through its existing power lines. (ABC News Online, 4 March 2005)
- The Economist Plugs Economic Liberalisation to Close Digital Divide
This week's edition of The Economist focuses on closing the digital divide between developed and underdeveloped countries. According to the cover story, encouraging the spread of mobile phones fuelled by private competition is the most sensible and effective response to the digital divide.
- Women in ICT Summit Advisory Group Established
The Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts, Senator Helen Coonan, has announced the members of an Advisory Group to help plan the Women in ICT summit scheduled for later this year. (Federal Government media release)
- Youths Set Up Regional Wireless Broadband Service
Two 19-year-olds in country New South Wales have set up one of the regional Australia's few wireless broadband Internet services for their community.
- eMarketing Code Registered by the ACA
The Australian Communicatiosn Authority has registered the code setting industry-wide rules for sending commercial electronic messages. (ACA Media Release, 18 March 2005)