The astonishing pace of development of modern information and communications technologies is profoundly changing all sectors of society and the way in which we live our daily lives.
Individuals and organizations alike are relying on modern infrastructure and services to an extent that was hard to even imagine just a few years ago. Evidence that ubiquitous, reliable high-speed Internet access goes hand-in-hand with economical and societal development can be seen all around us. However, a society under such rapid transformation will also face challenges – challenges that can be mitigated through careful planning.
Qatar’s National Broadband Plan, scheduled to be launched at an international-level symposium on December 8, identifies the actions needed for Qatar to continue to develop into a knowledge-based society, with an active part in the global digital economy.
For this transition to come true, ministries, public and private organizations as well as other sectors in society are encouraged to join forces in the implementation of the National Broadband Plan. In the end, we will all be affected by how successful this implementation is. As a participant at the symposium, you will be able to meet and exchange ideas with decision makers, experts and peers on how the planned future shall best become a reality.
Richard Adler, Distinguished Fellow and Research Affiliate with Institute for the Future, will be sharing his experiences and expertise in a keynote speech at the symposium, together with other international, regional and local experts.
In a recent interview, we asked Richard to elaborate on the importance of providing high-speed, high-capacity broadband connectivity to Qatar, and the necessity of having a master plan to ensure an efficient roll out of infrastructure and widespread adoption of broadband services.
Asked about the impact of a national broadband plan to a country, Richard stated, “A national broadband plan can raise awareness of the potential of broadband to support innovation, deliver a wide range of valuable services and spur economic growth. A plan can also provide a blueprint for what needs to be done to realize the benefits that broadband offers. Plans can offer a vision for the future, but they must be put into action for them to have real impact.”
Richard went on to say that Qatar has set an ambitious goal for transforming itself into a digital economy and that a robust broadband infrastructure is a critical foundation for such a transformation. Richard credits the National Broadband Plan for recognizing that the broadband market in Qatar is at a crossroads, with high penetration figures but limited competition. The plan will encourage more robust competition that in turn, according to Richard, should lead to better and more affordable services and the emergence of Qatar’s digital economy.
Richard argued that broadband is now the main on-ramp to the Internet, connecting our world in new ways, and that it is important for Qatar to be part of this new reality. For the National Broadband Plan to really mark the start of a new era of innovation and success in Qatar, it needs to be properly implemented.
As Richard believes that each country represents a different environment in which the technology will play out, he is eager to learn more at the symposium about how Qataris see the world and the potentials for further progress.
But with experts like Richard already signed up for the symposium, why is your participation still so important to us? Because, as Richard puts it, change is happening rapidly as we move from a connected world to a hyper connected one. The upcoming launch event provides a good opportunity for us all to meet and discuss where technology has taken us – and where we want to go next.
Let’s get together and make it happen!