ITU calls for global 20 Mbps broadband by 2020 header image

The secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) wants the whole world to have access to broadband speeds of 20 Mbps by 2020.

Speaking at the seventh meeting of the Broadband Commission in Mexico City, Dr Hamadoun Toure said he would like to “dream big” and aim for 20 Mbps connections to be available worldwide for around $20 a month (£13.25) by 2020, ISPreview reports.

After the meeting, Dr Toure suggested that a new initiative named 'Goal 20-20 by 2020' could be created to help countries achieve the necessary connection speeds.

The ITU, which is the United Nations' specialised agency for ICT, currently has targets that aim for all states to have "a national broadband plan or strategy, or include broadband in their universal access/service definitions” by 2015.

Its main commitments are to make the internet more accessible and affordable in developing countries, amounting to no more than five per cent of household income. The organisation also aims for 60 per cent of the world's population to have online access, including 50 per cent of people in developing nations and 15 per cent in less developed countries.

A recent survey by Ofcom found that the average download speed in the UK is only 12.1 Mbps and just 5.1 Mbps in rural areas. The net index from Ookla currently ranks Britain 23rd in its list of the fastest broadband connections in the world, meaning the UK still has some work to do to reach the ITU's proposed target.

While the government aims to provide internet speeds of 20 Mbps to 90 per cent of the UK population, this may take several years to implement and still leaves ten per cent of people with slower connections.

The satellite broadband service provided by Avonline is already capable of providing download speeds of 20 Mbps. It is particularly suited for homes or businesses in rural locations, as it does not require any infrastructural development.

Posted by Mark Wynn