Successful Fourth Edition of CLT16,

29/07/2016

Great Turnout and High-Level Debates at the Latin American Telecommunications Congress

Once again, Mexico hosted Latin America’s most important ICT meeting. For four days, Ministers, telecoms operators, regulators, executives, academics, and digital economy analysts discussed the challenges to the development of connectivity and the Latin American market.

With over 450 participants from 30 countries and key Latin American ministers and industry leaders among the audience, CLT reinforced its place as the meeting point to debate the future of the digital economy in the region. In a context of new Internet services, greater impact of this sector on the economy, and the population’s increased access to the Information Society, participants analyzed projects for connecting one half of the Latin American population who are still not connected, discussed the need to encourage investments, and debated the future of the Internet in the next 5 years. They also highlighted the importance of having regulation focus on users. The event was attended by representatives of 182 organizations, companies, and institutions from around the region.

The plenary session was held during the first two days of the meeting and was opened by ASIET’s Executive Director, who noted the need to “bridge the digital divide and move from an Internet for consumption to an Internet for production”. On the first day, discussions dealt with the challenges of regulating the new digital environment and the future of the Internet. On the second day, the region’s ICT Ministers took center stage and agreed on the need to drive local content development and address the divides caused by inequality in access. These sessions were also attended by telecoms operators and representatives of Regulatel, IFT and ECLAC. Likewise, participants also addressed topics such as the economic situation in Latin America and the challenges it poses for telecommunications; investments in telecommunications aimed at bridging the digital divide; the strategy for a Digital Single Market in Europe and the possibility of replicating the initiative in Latin America; and the impact of the 2015 World Radiocommunication Conference on mobile services and broadcasting markets.

The second part of the Congress brought together the most important ICT academics of the region for CPR Latam. Researchers, members of the private sector, and regulators met to learn from the studies and experiences they had each encountered while working on ICT policies and thus expand the knowledge of ICT’s social, economic and political impact in Latin America. Another highlight was the CE-Digital Workshop, Competition Policies in the Digital Era, organized by CAF ­Development Bank of Latin America, eLAC’s Technical Secretariat, and the GSMA. The goal is to provide training opportunities for regulatory agency officials and public information technology and communications (ICT) policy makers of South America.

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