Australia’s Digital Hubs Directory

Australia has been a leader in broadband adoption by creating the Department of Broadband, Communications, and the Digital Economy.  This government ministry is providing $13.6m USD available in grants to communities to increase broadband adoption and digital inclusion programs.

A component of Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN), the Digital Hubs Program is an initiative tied to these grants to aid local communities to improve their digital literacy skills and increase their broadband adoption.

The Digital Hubs Directory was created to facilitate communities applying for these NBN grants and organizing digital inclusion initiatives.  This site provides information about the impact of broadband-based solutions regarding topics ranging from health to education, and home uses to business solutions.

This directory allows NGOs and other organizations to add their best practices and broadband-based successes to the growing list that provides detailed information about and how they impact and support Australia’s NBN

Visit the Digital Hubs directory at: http://digitalhubs.aiia.com.au or read more about it at: http://www.newsmaker.com.au/news/11322

The Broadband Commission’s Online Sharehouse

In response to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s directive to encourage the UN to meet the millennium Development Goals, The International Telecommunication Union and UNESCO set up the Broadband Commission for Digital Development.  The Commission’s mission is to advocate for the inclusion of broadband on the international policy agendas and is working to increase broadband access internationally.

One tool that the Broadband Commission has developed is a user-driven database of best practices ranging from case studies to policy recommendations.  This database, the Sharehouse, has over 200 searchable initiatives from reputable organizations such as the Brookings Institution and the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.  Each submission is categorized by themes on which the submission touches upon, such as Infrastructure or Policy and Regulation, includes information about the project’s geographical coverage or area reported upon, and other classifying details such as time scale, partners, and points of contact.

The Broadband Commission’s Sharehouse is an outstanding example of how the international community can learn from each other through the stewardship and guidance of the United Nations and other international organizations.  Visit the site at: https://www.itu.int/net/broadband/Sharehouse/Search.aspx

Broadband in Brazil: A Multipronged Public Sector Approach to Digital Inclusion

With 35 million fixed and mobile broadband subscribers, Brazil ranks among the top ten countries worldwide by total number of broadband users. Its large population, however, places the country’s broadband penetration outside the top-50 worldwide. This report explores the challenges, opportunities and successes that define Brazil’s Information and Communication Technology experience.

Regionally, Brazil is slightly above the Latin American average in terms of penetration, but behind Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. Speed of access follows a similar pattern – Brazil is better than the regional average, but below US or European levels. Likewise, Brazil has relatively good international fiber connectivity, although it is not as well connected as some of its neighbors. Similarly, prices for telecommunication and broadband access are lower than other countries in the region yet still relatively high compared to North America and Europe, especially outside the major cities. Phones, computer and telecommunication equipment are also significantly higher in cost, partly due to import duties on IT equipment, further reducing affordability of access among the lower-income groups.

In an effort to help to improve coverage and reduce the cost of broadband access, the government has begun a major broadband infrastructure development initiative which has set ambitious targets to triple broadband uptake by 2014. The largest ICT infrastructure project ever carried out in Brazil, called the National Broadband Plan (PNBL), it aims to ensure that broadband access is available to low-income households, especially in areas that have so far been poorly served.

Read the report (pdf): http://www.infodev.org/en/Document.1128.pdf

Read more: http://www.infodev.org/en/Publication.1128.html

European Network and Information Security Agency Publishes 18 Protective Recommendations Against Key Risks for Cyber Bullying & Online Grooming

The EU Agency ENISA, the (European Network and Information Security Agency) has launched a new report on cyber bullying and online grooming (preparing sexual abuse); warning that misuse of data (data mining and profiling) harms minors. The report identifies the top emerging risks and makes 18 non-technical recommendations for their mitigation. One key recommendation is to strengthen Member State’s law enforcement agencies. Other recommendations point to safeguards adapted to the needs of youth’s cyber activities.

Digital devices and the internet now play a significant role in children’s lives. Today’s young people live their online lives in both private and educational settings. This is an environment radically different from that of their parents, in their childhoods. Risks in a child’s online environment can be detrimental to their physical activities and social skills, argues the ENISA Expert Group on Internet risks.

The report details a scenario of 13-year old Kristie’s changed behavior, poor grades and negative attitudes due to abuse in her online life. Many parents lose control, as they lack knowledge and tools to support their children, the report argues. The Agency thus issues 18 recommendations to mitigate identified risks.

 

Read the full report: http://www.enisa.europa.eu/act/rm/emerging-and-future-risk/deliverables/Cyber-Bullying%20and%20Online%20Grooming/at_download/fullReport

Read more: http://www.enisa.europa.eu/media/press-releases/new-report-cyber-bullying-online-grooming-18-protective-recommendations-against-key-risks?goback=%2Egde_133109_member_80318930