Nº 2 2014 > ITU’s Connect the World initiative
Connect Americas Summit
The Connect Americas Summit, the fourth in a series of ITU-led Connect Summits, was held in Panama City, on 17–19 July 2012. Leaders from the Americas region committed to furthering telecommunication development in line with the regional priorities agreed at the World Telecommunication Development Conference in 2010.
Stakeholders and ITU proposed a number of projects valued at USD 53.4 billion with the aim of achieving the summit goals (see box on next page). As with previous Connect events, the summit in Panama served as a platform to announce new partnerships. Efforts are under way by partners to implement the various initiatives announced.
Meanwhile, ITU has finished implementing the HIPCAR project on “Enhancing Competitiveness in the Caribbean through the Harmonization of ICT Policies, Legislation and Regulatory Procedures” funded by the European Union.
ITU is working with regional institutions such as the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) and the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organizations (CANTO) on broadband initiatives, spectrum management, the transition from analogue to digital television broadcasting, cybersecurity and disaster management. ITU in partnership with CTU hosted a follow-up Connect Americas meeting for the Caribbean countries in August 2013 in Trinidad.
In partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), CANTO launched their “Broadband Infrastructure Inventory and Public Awareness Project” in which ITU was invited to be part of the technical team.
A project known as “Complementary Infrastructure for the Mesoamerican Information Highway” is also under way. It was presented to the Connect Americas Summit, and is one of the highest priorities for the countries of the Central American telecommunications regulatory commission COMTELCA (Comisión Técnica Regional de Telecomunicaciones).
COMTELCA has started implementing a broadband project, financed by IDB. ITU has also been working with COMTELCA in the area of communications during emergencies.
Memoranda of Understanding and cooperation agreements have been signed, for example, with the Government of Haiti for the development of its telecommunication sector, and with Brazil’s Telecommunications Research and Development Centre (Centro de Pesquisa e Desenvolvimento em Telecomunicações — CPqD) for non-exclusive collaboration in the area of conformance and interoperability.