Deputy Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation Rashid Ismailov spoke to ITU on the sidelines of the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-17) about the challenges of connecting the ‘next billion’ and of the potential side effects of the digital transformation.
Ismailov drew a parallel between the English agricultural revolution and the digital transformation we are going through now. He spoke of the opportunities to increase GDP and shift society, and how each revolution has their side effects and that we should also consider the security risks that come with the rollout of new information and communication technologies (ICTs).
Ismailov also highlighted the progress of the Russian ‘Information Society’ program launched six years ago, and how the initiatives of the program are still quite relevant to the topics currently discussed at WTDC-17.
With regard to connecting the ‘next billion’, Ismailov stressed the need for balance of global regulatory frameworks and how there’s no one solution for all countries.
In Russia’s experience, he said, the main point of focus is network accessibility, which acts as the baseline for the delivery of projects and the implementation of goals.
“We need to reinforce our efforts to … close the digital divide.” – Rashid Ismailov, Deputy Minister of Telecom and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation
Ismailov highlighted the challenge of population density in Russia as parallel to the challenges shared by the Global South – and the importance of delivering services to the underserved, such as those in areas of low population density and the elderly.
As for WTDC, Ismailov emphasized the importance of the strategic plan of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Sector (ITU-D). He also stressed the importance of regional coordination.
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