Indeed, being connected is the essential element in modern society, conferring broad social and economic benefits. And that connection is possible with high-speed, high-capacity broadband connections. Without broadband infrastructure and services, developing countries risk being left out from flourishing global digital economy.
Qatar’s National Broadband Plan, scheduled to be launched at an international-level symposium on December 8, will ensure that Qatar is equipped with the required elements that will ensure a smooth, fast and effective transition to a knowledge-based economy within the next few years.
But needless to say, the success of the Broadband Plan will require a sustained effort by both public and private organizations as well as other sectors of society. At the Symposium participants will be able to meet with peers to discuss and exchange ideas about how all of us can be an integral part of the plan’s success.
Blair Levin, Communications & Society Fellow with the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program, will be sharing his insights in a keynote address at the symposium, among many international, regional and local experts. We had an excellent opportunity to ask him about his thoughts on broadband and its impact.
We asked Blair about the role of broadband plan play in the development of a nation and he said, “Broadband has become the commons for how economies develop, improve and deliver the goods and services of the Information Age. In that light, it is not surprising that the World Bank and many other experts have discovered a positive correlation between broadband and economic growth. It is also the platform that will increasingly be essential for social progress, as education, health care, job training and other public goods will depend on universal adoption of broadband.”
What does, should, the plan mean to people in Qatar?
“The plan is just the start,” Blair emphasized, adding, “Implementation is essential. But if it is successfully implemented, it holds the promise of greater economic growth, social progress and improved access to the most important resource of our age – information. It eliminates geography as a constraint to the ambitions of the citizens of Qatar in contributing to their own well-being and the well-being of the world.”
So does that mean implementation of this plan would equate to new innovation and success in Qatar?
“There are no guarantees of success but without world-class broadband available through Qatar, failure is certain,” Blair said.
“Broadband is the new table-stakes for a successful economy,” was his advice to Qatar.
Blair told us that he’s excited to be part of the symposium and is looking forward to the conversations that would emerge, “both at the event, and after, in reaction to things said at the talks and on the panels.”
But there’s one thing that we know and truly understand – and Blair concurs with us on that – it’s one thing to come up with a plan but another to ensure successful implementation. And we are all in it together to see that the plan is implemented perfectly so that the National Broadband Plan becomes the driver for genuine social, economic, and environmental change.
So is it important for you to join us and all the experts at the launch? Absolutely. We couldn’t have put the importance of attending this event in better words than what Blair said, “Anyone can get a transcript and read both the plan and what people said at the conference. But only those who attend can be part of and affect the conversation about how broadband can be used to shape Qatar in the century ahead.”
Let’s work together and make it happen.