Providing more cost effective access to telecommunications, expanding broadband internet access and making communications infrastructure more secure from cyber attack are some of the key objectives of the 28th APEC Telecommunications and Information Working Group Meeting in Chinese Taipei on October 4-10.
To meet its commitment of assisting in the development of more secure and accessible communications and information infrastructure and the facilitation of free trade in telecommunications products and services, the APEC TEL Meetings will cover a number of areas that have direct benefit for people in APEC economies.
Salma Jalife, Chair of the APEC TEL, said these objectives have been set by APEC Leaders in order to expand access to and protect information and telecommunications services in the APEC Region.
"One of the key targets that will be reviewed at the APEC TEL Meeting is progress towards the APEC goal of extending at least community based Internet access to all people in the APEC region by 2010," Ms Jalife said.
"This target was set as part of the Digital Divide Blueprint for Action that also sets the goal of tripling of Internet access in the APEC Region by 2005."
Ms Jalife said the APEC TEL Meeting will also include a workshop on the policy and technological requirements of expanding broadband internet access the APEC region.
"Expanding broadband access will enable the private sector to participate more fully in the knowledge based economy that is essential for the development of the region," Salma Jalife said.
"The obstacles and opportunities relating to broadband Internet access will be presented by communications professionals, business people and government sector personnel who are currently working on the ongoing expansion of broadband Internet access in member economies."
The APEC TEL Chair said that as the region has become increasingly dependent on the internet for business activities, online security has become a high priority.
"The protection of internet systems is critical to the APEC Region's economic stability and security.
"With the incidents of cyber attack by way of malicious codes or hackers growing each year, there is a clear need for the establishment of and cooperation amongst Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) throughout the region.
"If each APEC economy had access to a local CERT it is expected that cyber attacks against online computer infrastructure would be minimized as the attack could be shut down quickly by the CERT at its source.
"The recent spate of attacks by worm viruses and other malicious codes on internet infrastructure serve as stern warnings of the dangers currently faced in the cyber world."
The 28th APEC TEL Meeting will be attended by around 300 delegates from APEC's 21 Member Economies and involve a number of related workshops and seminars including:
The WTO Telecoms Reference Paper
On-line Content Promotion
Mutual Recognition Agreements
APEC TEL's Program of Action covers the implementation of the e-APEC Strategy and the implementation of the Digital Divide Blueprint for Action, promoting policy and regulatory measures to liberalise trade and investment in the telecommunications and information sector, e-security, e-government, mutual recognition arrangements for the conformity assessment of telecommunications equipment, human capacity building and an active dialogue with the business community.
APEC has also released an online version of the "E-Commerce Strategies for Rural SMEs in APEC." A core objective of this project is identifying success criteria for Information Communications Technology projects in the rural areas of the APEC region.
The report notes that one way to accomplish this is to review selected case studies in terms of what worked and what did not. A total of seven case studies are included in this report, with one serving as a benchmark example for SMEs in the agricultural sector. The report is available at: www.apec.org
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