Conroy appointed to UN's broadband commission

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Conroy appointed to UN's broadband commission

Becomes a founding member of strategy group.

The United Nations has appointed Australian Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy as a founding member of its new Broadband Commission for Digital Development.

Established this week by the UN's International Telecommunication Union, the Commission aims to define strategies for accelerating broadband roll out worldwide.

Conroy joins commission officials from Finland, Uruguay, Singapore, India, Switzerland and the US. It is co-chaired by Rwandan president Paul Kagame and Mexican businessman Carlos Slim.

"It is very important that broadband be a high-quality universal service at a low cost," Slim said.

"Broadband is not a gap, but a bridge between developed and developing countries, providing access to all of the services of modern society for the well-being of the population in general."

Conroy said his appointment recognised the Federal Government's commitment to deliver high-speed broadband to all Australians.

"I look forward to sharing Australia's experiences in developing our National Broadband Network (NBN) as well as contributing to the work of the Commission," he said in a statement.

"The NBN will lift Australia to the top of world-rankings when it comes to broadband access and I'm pleased to see the ITU has recognised our important work."

The Commission will deliver its findings in two reports: one based directly on input from Commissioners; and the other, an in-depth research paper examining the effect and challenges of broadband rollout.

It will meet in Geneva in the middle of the year before delivering its findings to the UN Secretary-General in September.

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