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ABU-ICT Forum

Focus on Information & Communication Technologies

Introduction
The global information society is evolving at a breakneck speed. The accelerating convergence between telecommunications, broadcasting multimedia and information and communication technologies (ICT) is driving new products and services, as well as ways of conducting business and commerce. This dynamic process promises some fundamental changes in knowledge dissemination, social interaction, media, education, health and entertainment.

Assisting the Information Disadvantaged
It is imperative that the entire world community derives full benefits from this revolution. There are several areas in the Asia-Pacific which, unless urgent measures are taken, will be unable to tap the benefits of living in the knowledge-based society. Therefore, unless immediate measures are taken, there is an imminent danger that the knowledge-divide will further widen.

Broadcasters Bridge the Knowledge Divide
In essence, the real difference between the info-disadvantaged and info-rich is the inequality of access to the Information and Communication infrastructure. Broadcasting is an engine of development. In many countries broadcasting provides the only means of social and developmental communication, conveying messages to mass audiences on education, agriculture, health, culture, family and also delivering entertainment.

Content creation is a core competency of broadcasters. Enormous multimedia resources which, after re-purposing, will be eminently useful for delivery by the ICTs, particularly by Broadband Internet, broadcasting to "mobile" and through mobile-phone network.

ABU ICT Forum
To facilitate this process, the ABU Information and Communication Technologies Forum (ABU ICT Forum) was set up by the ABU General Assembly in Istanbul (2003). This step was taken on a joint Recommendation from the ABU Technical and Programming Committees. This recommendation emerged from an ICT Workshop organised the ABU in 2003.

The Forum was set up to promote use of the new information and communication technologies (ICTs) by ABU members in providing new services and delivering new products to audiences. The ABU ICT Forum will provide the focus for the Union's activities in this emerging field. A set of guidelines was established to facilitate functioning of the Forum.

Forum Constituted
The ABU ICT Forum has been constituted as a working party and will address use of the new media to enable broadcasters access to audiences through Broadband Internet, broadcasting to "mobiles" and the mobile-phone networks. Additionally, the Forum will address all aspects of implementation in its studies and will provide a platform for exchange of ICT related information among the ABU members.

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