Advisor to the President Mykhailo Fedorov had a meeting with the World Bank representatives concerning the initiatives and projects of digital economy development.
This is the second meeting with the World Bank representatives specialized in digital economy and transformations. The group is called HELP (High-Level Experts, Leaders and Practitioners) and includes world-famous experts in the sphere of digitalization.
The parties emphasized that a widespread deployment of high-speed Internet networks must take place to boost economic development and increase welfare in Ukraine. Therefore, it is important to consolidate efforts of politicians, state agencies, private operators and providers to create the necessary infrastructure capable of providing high speed data transfer (30 Mbps and above) for at least 80% of households by 2025.
The main goal of the project is to provide high-quality Internet access for Ukrainians all over Ukraine - in rural areas, along highways, in schools and hospitals - so that they can use the benefits of the digital world for their own development, business, pleasure. Currently the gap between urban and rural areas in terms of broadband Internet development is about 40%.
“We shouldn’t just give the citizens an infrastructure of high-quality Internet. We should form real needs and willingness of Ukrainians to use technologies for education, business, self-development, Mykhailo Fedorov emphasized. According to him, Internet opportunities are an important basis for balancing living standards in rural areas.
Active deployment of high-speed networks depends on the fulfillment of numerous conditions by the state - technical neutrality for mobile operators, access to the physical infrastructure of fixed-line operators, formation of citizens’ demand and implementation of digitalization projects in schools, medicine, transport, city administration, etc. In particular, the digitalization in schools should be complex - not only connection of the school building to the Internet, but also its use in the educational process (the availability of tablets for each student, Wi-Fi access in classes and active use of multimedia tools for improving the quality of education).
"Such a school will become interesting for children. This means that modern children will be willing to study, learn and explore. Attending school lessons will not be a boring formality," the Advisor to the President noted, adding that similar complex digitalization processes should take place in healthcare institutions.
According to the representatives of the World Bank, considerable experience has already been gained in solving the problem of coverage of the so-called unprofitable areas for communications providers.
The participants of the meeting agreed that an important step is the development of the National Broadband Internet Development Plan, which should consolidate the requirements for the broadband access service, that is, establish certain parameters of quality and speed; approve the mechanisms of public-private partnership with operators and telecommunication providers in the field of coverage of low-income territories and provide all available modern tools for the funding of digital infrastructure development projects, in particular the implementation of complex projects of digital transformations, primarily in education and medicine.
The parties also discussed expectations from the World Bank's implementation of the grant project of the EU4Digital initiative for the development of the National Broadband Access Development Plan, as well as the infrastructure development project for the international Internet traffic that could turn Ukraine into a regional Internet hub.