An Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) meeting on the digital economy supported a host of proposals, including preservation of an open internet, increasing access to broadband and narrowing digital divides.
Connectivity has the power to bridge digital divides and boost innovation, the organisation argued, by adopting technologically neutral frameworks (presumably a reference to net neutrality in some form), that encourage broadband, consumer protection and competition.
In addition, the meeting agreed to pursue opportunities arising from the Internet of Things, cloud computing, digitisation of manufacturing and data analytics, while addressing their economic and social impact, and assessing current regulatory regimes and global standards.
The measures were backed by OECD member countries plus Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia, Latvia and Lithuania. The meeting took place in Cancun, Mexico, earlier this week.
The OECD also backed the protection of privacy, to which governments should give a high priority, because it is critical to future prosperity, particularly in reference to freedom of expression as well as the needs of SMEs and individuals, the body said.
Speaking at the meeting, EU vice president Andrus Ansip said the digital economy is about more than simply having an internet connection.
“It is about making sure people know how to use technology, and learn from it. For full social and economic inclusion, having adequate digital skills is as important as being able to access technology,” he said.