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Developing telecommunications infrastructure
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The development and integration of telecommunications infrastructure in the region enables the migration towards the information society by providing an affordable and equitable access to ICT services. Reducing the digital divide by reaching a wider proportion of the population, improving employment by creating new jobs, and increasing the competitiveness of various economic sectors by increasing access to new markets and fostering collaboration are among the major benefits emanating from this programme. Telecommunication infrastructure entails a large range of components and services. To name a few, it includes fixed lines, mobile telephony, satellite communications, Internet services, and also issues related to the liberalization and deregulation of the telecommunication sector. With the evolution of Internet access technologies and of Internet hosting capabilities in the region, the opportunity to develop an integrated digital regional backbone is becoming more lucrative, especially that the regional Internet traffic is increasing; similarly, a viable agenda for reforming telecommunication sectors is vital for developing and integrating telecommunications in the region.