(Photo via news.itu.int)

From October 9 to October 20, over 1000 representatives from 140 countries traveled to Buenos Aires for the World Telecommunications Development Conference (WTDC) co-sponsored by the Argentine Ministry of Modernization and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), the United Nation’s agency for information and communication technologies.

During the WTDC, ministers and vice-ministers focused on cyber-security and data protection through open dialogues regarding the development of information and communications technologies (ICT) throughout the world.

In this modern digital era, job-seekers are required to have specific technological skills as the world becomes more reliant on technology in the work place, leaving significant parts of the population at a disadvantage. Policy-makers and experts discussed best practice strategies to create a level-playing field to ensure that the population without internet access or technological skills can receive those opportunities, and the benefits that come along with them.

As a result of the discussions, the participating countries created the Buenos Aires Action Plan in order to ensure telecommunications development goals for each country from 2018 through 2021. In part, the plan promotes international cooperation for ICT projects to develop secure and quality infrastructure and connectivity services.

Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña emphasized that this administration is optimistic and enthusiastic regarding advancing technologies, as they are “tools to be used against current and future face challenges” in Argentina. Both Minister of Foreign Affairs Jorge Faurie and Minister of Modernization Andrés Ibarra were also in attendance. Peña and Ibarra highlighted this conference as well as the upcoming G20 summit in 2018 as part of a global confidence in Argentina’s new international perspective.

Currently, 36 percent of Argentina has access to 4G, however if 3G is considered then 80 percent of the country has access to mobile broadband. In contrast, there are approximately 7 million homes without internet access. Ibarra stated that the Macri administration is dedicated to creating quality technology services and improvements in connectivity within all parts of the country. These initiatives are aligned with the Argentine Modernization Plan, established in February 2016, which intends to create access to 2 million new homes and increase the speed of approximately 3.5 million between 2017 and 2020.