The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) hosted the official global launch of the World Bank’s latest report into broadband networks in the Middle East and North Africa. The report entitled ‘Broadband Networks in the Middle East and North Africa – Accelerating High-Speed Internet Access’ was launched at the TRA’s Abu Dhabi headquarters in the morning and was followed by a policy presentation and panel discussion in the afternoon.
The TRA Director General opened proceedings and took his place on the discussion panel to assess the findings of the report and the implications for the region – particularly in the United Arab Emirates. Other panelists included Khalifa Alforah, Chief Digital Services Officer at Etisalat; Tariq Albahri, Vice President of Regulatory & External Affairs at du; Khaled Koubaa, Public Policy & Government Relations Manager, North Africa at Google and Fadi Salem, the Director of the Governance and Innovation Program, and Fellow, at the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government.
Commenting on the event, His Excellency Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, TRA Director General said: “It is fitting, yet not coincidental, that The World Bank has chosen the UAE TRA headquarters as the venue to launch its latest statistical exploration into broadband. The UAE always exhibited a strong commitment to increasing the provision of broadband and extending the benefits of greater connectivity to all.”
“The UAE has long enjoyed a broadband penetration rate exceeding 100% and as 2013 drew to a close, witnessed a 30% increase in broadband subscriptions from Jan 2011 to Nov 2013. Furthermore, our latest statistics indicate, and positively so, that the UAE currently has well over a million broadband subscribers. Hosting an event of this magnitude goes to show UAE’s credibility in the international field of ICT and the increasing contribution to it. The UAE TRA welcomes the findings of the report and the increased awareness of MENA broadband provision that has resulted from its release,” he added.