New Internet is For All
Papallacta, Ecuador Manifesto
March 31, 2000
Access to adequate telecommunications is a necessity in this era of
increased networking, digitized information, and provision of goods
services through the Internet. In the past, ³adequate² or
³basic² was voice
telephone service. In the year 2000 it also includes access to networked
information, communications technology and services using the Internet.
Citizens who have knowledge of computers and who can use the information
technology add to the collective wealth in their country. Some
have already committed public policies to universal access that include
Given the increasing disparity in wealth and the ability to afford these
services in all countries, government regulatory agencies must guarantee
universal access at a reasonable cost by all citizens and organizations
irrespective of their geographic location. This can be achieved
combination of commercial competition and cheaper and more powerful
Organizations that serve the public are demanding a regulatory policy
reduces the current inequalities in the access to and use of digital
services and information. These organizations include schools, public
libraries, health centers, community centers, telecenters, and non-profit
groups dedicated to providing access to the new information and
communication technologies (ICTs).
Tele-centros.org is a community of persons and organizations in Latin
American and the Caribbean whose membership has worked for several
provide many types of services in many communities around the region.
of these communities have been excluded from access to telephone and
Internet services. Tele-centros.org recommends the following
examples of regulatory change that should be undertaken to realize
Universal service including basic telephony and access to the Internet
should be a component of the regulatory framework in all countries.
Domestic regulations should recognize the legitimacy of special
arrangements and discounts in favor of educational, social and cultural
organizations that provide access to or facilitate use of the Internet
the majority of people underserved at this moment.
Access to advanced and broadband services should be available for rural
When a new telecommunications technology requires permission or license
from the government, the groups providing public access should be afforded
special treatment including favorable discounts for connectivity and
equipment needed to make use of it.
Set aside public unlicensed radio spectrum for spreading connectivity
rural and remote parts of the country, or other parts that are underserved
and have few or no choices in the marketplace.
Establishment of an advisory group within ITU drawn from the public
sector which would be briefed on new technologies and resulting policy
changes that would affect the aforementioned groups.
Create a forum for open dialogue to give groups and organizations of
civil society the opportunity for input in the public telecommunications
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