Regulators of the Asia-Pacific region have agreed to enhance mutual cooperation to put up common solutions to the newer challenges faced by the respective governments, regulators of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs). The regulators of Asia-Pacific region consented to a joint statement at the end of Sixth Asia- Pacific Regulators’ Roundtable jointly organized by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in Islamabad.
Two days roundtable focused on new ways and means to address the issues and challenges popping up in the ICT sector of the Member States. Examples were brought in during the discussions from different countries to share the knowledge and prepare mechanisms in this regard.
Meanwhile, three days International Training Programme (ITP) being held in conjuncture with Roundtable Conference started on Wednesday in Islamabad. Delegates from Asia-Pacific region countries are participating in the ITP organized by PTA.
During inaugural ceremony, Chairman PTA shared his views on how the ICT sector is being developed, encouraged and regulated in Pakistan. He said that in 2015 technology companies represented 60 percent of the value of the top ten companies of the world. The technology is helping in connecting the societies. He said smart devices are enabling greater access to services and information while new markets and economic opportunities are being created .Mr. Ioane Koroivuki, Regional Director ITU, Asia-Pacific in his address thanked Pakistan and PTA for organizing these events in Islamabad. He emphasized that ICTs will be critical for achieving development goals in our countries and the importance of ICTs has increased many fold.
On this Occasion, Chairman Telecommunication Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Mr. R.S Sharma said that all of us face similar problems in the region. While technology is changing very fast, particularly in the field of ICTs, quantum jump is witnessed. He said today’s democracy is “digital democracy” and because of Information Highways everybody has equal information. However, we are also faced with challenges such as cyber security and net neutrality.
Mr. Sharma said digital foot prints are traceable which is creating huge trail of human beings activity. Since we do not own this data, who is going to look after this data is a big question. Data is going to be new currency. He said ICT sector is moving very fast and there are regulatory, legal, technological and standard issues which are to be addressed. He said as regulators we have to maintain balance between regulation and over regulation. Mr. Sharma congratulated PTA for organizing the event. International Training Programme will continue from 20th July to 22nd July in Islamabad.
Mr. Sameer Sharma , Senior Advisor ITU Regional Office for Asia-Pacific , who is also responsible for South Asia has been instrumental in bringing the Regulators Roundtable , International Training Program to Pakistan. He is deeply engaged in ICT development of Pakistan including National Broadband Policy, Spectrum Management Policy, National Emergency Regulatory Framework. Mr. Sharma emphasized on improving the ICT Development Ranking of Pakistan and would be organizing a symposium with PTA involving national stakeholders to share ITU methodology to collect comprehensive ICT data / statistics on Monday 25th July 2016.