Information and communication technologies support economic prosperity in APEC and the development of the Asia Pacific Information Society. Broadband connectivity has become an essential component of these technologies. Since TELMIN 3 in 1998, Ministers have called upon the TEL to explore the development of broadband information infrastructures, stressing the need to extend broadband capabilities to rural and underserved areas. At TELMIN 5 in 2002, Ministers underscored the need to focus on broadband technology and its implications for economic growth. Noting the e-APEC Strategy and the TEL Digital Divide Blueprint for Action, Ministers also tied the TEL's broadband efforts to the Ministers and Leaders call to resolve the Digital Divide issues of universal access to ICTs.
To meet the Bogor and Brunei Goals and other benchmarks for timely development set by Leaders, the APEC TEL Ministers recommend a new objective of universal broadband access. To attain this objective, economies are encouraged to develop and implement domestic broadband policies that:
Maximize Access and Usage
- Facilitate access to broadband services based on competitive and market-based principles within all communities in APEC economies, irrespective of location.
- Emphasize and enhance human capacity building to ensure business, community, and individual users' ability to take advantage of the full benefits of broadband services as well as to protect the integrity of networks.
- Promote the important social and economic benefits of broadband by encouraging the use of broadband in the delivery of government services and assist communities in capturing opportunities for broadband deployment.
- Encourage the development of broadband service technologies, local content, and applications to support the rapid expansion and usage of broadband for the strengthening of economies, societies, and cultures.
- Recognize the critical role of the private sector and academia in the research and development of new broadband technologies, and in the deployment, expansion, and use of broadband infrastructure.
- Consider the strategic use of targeted government incentives for infrastructure expansion to rural, remote, and underserved areas where broadband deployment is not yet commercially viable.
Facilitate Continued Competition and Liberalization
- Support effective competition and continued liberalization in infrastructure, network services and applications in the face of convergence across different technological platforms that supply broadband services.
- Promote competition between different network infrastructures that deliver broadband services, and encourage industry to work towards the compatibility and interoperability of these infrastructures.
- Support market liberalization and pro-competition policies that encourage broadband infrastructure investment and expansion to realize last mile connectivity.
- Promote and support technology choice so that competitive market forces are able to generate the best results for users, while giving due respect to legitimate domestic policy objectives for broadband deployment and taking into consideration the spirit of WTO objectives in this regard.
- Continue efforts towards liberalization and fair and effective competition that support and promote the growth of products, applications and services that can be delivered electronically via broadband.
Foster Enabling Regulatory Frameworks
- Ensure regulatory frameworks are transparent and non-discriminatory to reduce uncertainty and encourage investment.
Ensure that regulatory frameworks allow the interests of all parties to be considered.
- Develop and maintain regulatory frameworks that promote access to existing infrastructure as well as provide appropriate incentives for new infrastructure investment.
- Promote efficient and effective spectrum use to encourage the provision of broadband services.
Build Confidence in the Use of Broadband Networks and Services
- Instill user confidence in information systems and telecommunications networks by ensuring that reliability, security, and privacy are properly addressed.
- Ensure effective protection of digital intellectual property rights (IPR) through domestic laws generally in accordance with the international treaties and agreements relevant to the individual economy, and promote awareness of respecting IPR while encouraging the use of information and the sharing of knowledge.
- Combat cybercrime by endeavoring to establish domestic legal frameworks that take account of the Convention on Cyber Crime (2001).
- Develop domestic computer incident response capabilities that can cooperate with those of other APEC economies in protecting networks from technological threats.
- Enhance the information and experience sharing of successful projects, practices, strategies and the benefits derived amongst economies to build confidence and facilitate broadband take-up.