A report released this week claimed the global ICT sector was showing signs of recovery, with investments in national broadband network plans forming a central component of government efforts to stimulate growth.
The report, prepared by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), said the global ICT sector is in a stronger position than it was at the end of the dotcom bust.
"Strong points include higher cash to debt ratios in company balance sheets, consolidated and stronger firms, and the greater importance of the Internet economy," it said.
"There are signs of recovery, with the rate of decline bottoming out and turning up in the most recent cyclical data (May-June), with positive month-on-month growth for most countries."
The report also dived into the ICT implications of stimulus packages prepared by governments the world over to revive the flagging economies.
"Many of the stimulus packages recognise the importance of modern fixed and wireless communication infrastructure to support innovative products and services and the need to devote some public resources to improve or accelerate deployment," it said.
The report showed that Australia's investment in a national broadband network dwarfed other national 'networked recovery' efforts, some six-times larger than the investment in broadband proposed by its nearest peer, the US (see table below).
OECD: "Networked recovery": Investing in ICT infrastructure (source: OECD)
AUS 43 billion (USD 34.4 billion) (public-private)
Combination of fibre to the premises (FTTP) and next generation wireless and satellite technology
90% for FTTP and 10% for wireless/satellite
100 Mbit/s for fibre
EUR 25 million (government) - EUR 100 million (public-private)
Extending high speed broadband and usage of broadband
over 25 Mbit/s
CAD 225 million (USD 211 million)
Extending broadband coverage to un-served rural and remote communities
as many households as possible by 2012
EUR 66 million (USD 96 million) of EUR 200 million (public-private)
all permanent residences, business, public administration establishments
1 Mbit/s by end of 2010
100 Mbit/s by end of 2015
EUR 750 million for three years (government share n.a.)
Development of broadband network in small or medium-sized cities, extending (fixed / mobile) broadband. Internet on TGV Est lines (EUR 15 million), and development of networks for education and research. Funds provided by a French public bank and the private sector to develop next-generation networks in less connected areas
access to broadband by 2010 and mobile broadband by 2012 for everyone n.a.
EUR 1 billion (USD 1.46 billion)
Extending and upgrading high-speed Internet (focus on rural communities)
100% coverage of high speed Internet by 2010
an estimated EUR 150 million (USD 219 million)
Accelerating the spread of broadband networks. By 2010 all unserved areas connected. Nationwide capable broadband
access by no later than the end of 2010
by 2014, ¾ of households should have access to high-speed Internet (all by 2018)
target is 50 Mbit/s
Yen 185 billion
Eliminating the digital divide, promoting the development of wireless broadband and fostering digital terrestrial broadcasting
broadband: 100% by 2010
ultra-high speed: 90% by 2010
EUR 195 million (USD 285 million)
Accelerating the build-out of Luxconnect information highway, including through boosting public tele-communications works
EUR 50 million - fiscal incentives1 (USD 73 million)
Subsidised investments in new generation broadband networks
optic fibre that will allow 1,5 million users to connect
Measures for overseeing the installation of new generation fibre and regulating broadband
up to 30 Mbit/s, "at cost-oriented prices"
GBP 200 million (USD 328 million)
GBP 150-175 million a year raised by levy on fixed copper lines
Universal service commitment for broadband
Next Generation Final Third project which is aimed at developing next generation networks
virtually every community
90% coverage by 2017
2 Mbit/s per second by 2012
USD 7.2 billion (EUR 4.9 billion)
To foster broadband service to unserved / underserved areas, promote broadband in schools, libraries, health-care providers, and other entities.
no set minimum data speeds
Issue: 315 | May 2013
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