Ivanovski: Broadband internet development crucial for building economy

Skopje, 14th November 2012

The IT sector in Southeast Europe has the potential to become part of the competitive global market, thus contributing the region to be a creator of applications and solutions in addition to being a consumer. For this purpose, the development of broadband internet plays a key role.

This was highlighted at the opening of a two-day conference on broadband internet in SEE, held Wednesday in Skopje.


Participants in the conference are debating future policies and reforms that need to be implemented regarding the development of future broadband networks. Primarily, they think that a local market value needs to be created while the development of broadband services requires investments.


"The information and communications technology sector participates with 5% in the European GDP contributing with over 50% of productivity growth. The development of these technologies is related to the development of broadband internet as the basic element for building of every network economy. According to the World Bank, every 10% growth of broadband penetration results in 1-1.5% of economic growth in the country," Minister of Information Society and Administration Ivo Ivanovski said in his address at the conference.


According to him, as demands for IT implications, services and contents become larger and more sophisticated, the need for a faster broadband internet also rises. This has caused internet traffic to be doubled every 2-3 years and infrastructure bottlenecks to become a real hurdle for further progress of the society.


Increase in broadband speed provided a doubled growth of 0.3% of a country's GDP.


"The years to come will be crucial for migrating towards the next generations of superfast broadband networks. Those who will invest in their development on time are going to provide a definite benefit in the future," Ivanovski noted.


The World Bank forecasts that nearly 1.000 billion dollars will be invested in the next generations of broadband networks by 2015 globally. Minister Ivanovski stressed the necessity of a new regulatory framework stimulating and promoting effective competitiveness, investments and innovations, especially aiming at introducing next generations of broadband networks.


"The new regulation will have to guarantee internet freedom as well as the principle of net neutrality," Ivanovski said.


The director of the Agency for Electronic Communications, Robert Ordanovski said Macedonia would abide by the EU recommendations in order to establish a stable surrounding for broadband internet development.


He added that Macedonia had the objective of joining the EU's "2020 Digital Agenda", because "development of a broadband technology triggers a general development of the country."


The SEE Broadband Conference in Skopje is organised by the SEE Broadband Council.