The final quarter of 2008 marked the beginning of a severe contraction of economic activity across the OECD area, leaving policy makers examining how to respond to the economic crisis using a variety of stimulus packages as well as reforms aimed at producing a sustainable recovery. In particular, Governments are using investment in infrastructure as a way to counter the current economic downturn including, as a key component, investment in broadband IP networks. Some of the criteria they are taking into account include the immediate potential for such projects to improve services in underserved regions and to provide employment. They also recognize that broadband IP networks are critical for longer term economic and social development through the opportunities they create to enhance innovation as well as make government activities more open to civic engagement. In OECD countries networks are primary owned by the private sector which is also responsible for the vast bulk of investment in networks. This raises several questions about how governments can best accomplish the goals they have without displacing or disrupting private investment. What criteria or principles should be applied in assessing where to allocate resources, encouraging further investment by the private sector and promoting open and competitive choices for users?

Co-organisers: OECD in partnership with BIAC, CSISAC, ITAC and TUAC
The OECD brings together 30 governments of countries committed to democracy and the market economy from around the world. The OECD also shares expertise and exchanges views with more than 100 other countries. In May 2007, OECD countries agreed to invite Chile, Estonia, Israel, Russia and Slovenia to open discussions for membership of the Organisation and offered enhanced engagement, with a view to possible membership, to Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa. Participation at the OECD by the business community and trade-unions are co-ordinated through Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) and Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC). In 2009 co-ordination groups were established with representatives of civil society and the Internet technical community to facilitate participation in the ICCP Committee, namely the Civil Society Information Society Advisory Council (CSISAC) and Internet Technical Advisory Committee (ITAC).

Speakers are as follows:

- Taylor Reynolds, Communication Analyst, OECD,,3438,en_21571361_42740239_42989123_1_1_1_1,00.html
- Anriette Esterhuysen, Executive Director, Association for Progressive Communications (APC),3438,en_21571361_42740239_43599803_1_1_1_1,00.html