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United Nations launches wireless Internet initiative

NEW YORK-The United Nations ICT Task Force and the Wireless Internet Institute announced a series of programs to speed the adoption of wireless Internet.

“We need to think of ways to bring wireless-fidelity applications to the developing world so as to make use of unlicensed radio spectrum to deliver cheap and fast Internet access,” said UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2002.

In response to that challenge, the ICT Task Force and W2I have assembled a program called “Wireless Internet for Underserved Populations and Local Communities.” The program is designed to bring together government and private-sector representatives and field practitioners to work toward universal connectivity.

Early partners include IBM Corp. and Intel Corp.

The project includes more than 15 planned conferences, seminars and workshops for Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East designed to help policy-makers, regulators, development experts, field practitioners, vendors and carriers learn how to best leverage broadband wireless Internet technologies in their countries and underserved areas. Four series have been outlined, including National Regulator Capacity-Building; Global Wireless Internet and Local Authorities; Wireless Internet and the Arab World; and Wireless Internet and the African Continent. The goal of the series is to address issues such as applications identification, policy and regulatory framework development, backbone availability, demand aggregation and infrastructure funding.

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