November 2013 Update
November 27, 2013
2013 Training Year in Review
Over the past nine months the USTTI conducted our core courses addressing spectrum management, mobile broadband deployment and ICT policy as part of our 31st year of tuition-free training.
In addition, we expanded our cybersecuity course offerings while launching our first Emergency "Social Media Platforms and Tools" course during our Emergency Communications sequence in order to empower scholars with new tools to use in preparing for disaster response.
In the coming weeks, our 2014 curriculum will be finalized and posted on our website ustti.org. As you await the announcement of the curriculum and the call for applications, look forward to new courses addressing Mobile Roaming, Cloud Computing, Sub Sea Cable landing and Fibre optics and the importance of local content development.
USTTI Board Member Blog
In order for USTTI graduates and applicants to benefit directly from members of the USTTI Board, we have added our Board Member Blog feature to allow our alumni to read the views of individual board members on subjects that are important in the global ICT marketplace. The forum is intended to provide a valuable new source of information for USTTI graduates to consider as they work to achieve increased, affordable ICT access for your fellow country-men and women. This month's Board Member Blog is written by Ambassador Daniel Sepulveda, Christopher Painter and Uzra Zeya. Ambassador Daniel A. Sepulveda serves as US Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy and represents the US Department of State on the USTTI Board of Directors.
Internet Freedom For All
Internet freedom is a foreign policy priority for the United States, and has been for many years. Our goal is to ensure that any child, born anywhere in the world, has access to the global Internet as an open platform on which to innovate, learn, organize, and express herself free from undue interference or censorship. Indeed, during his time in Congress, Secretary Kerry worked closely with then-Secretary Clinton to make certain that we could effectively promote long-standing values of openness and human rights in a networked world.
To do so, we are supporting the efforts of Americans and committed partners worldwide to bring down the walls that are denying the people of the world connection and access to each other's ideas and services on the Internet. We do this in part because the Internet helps fuel the global economy, increases productivity, and creates jobs built on the unprecedented global reach that the platform provides for our businesses and innovators. Just as importantly, we are champions of Internet Freedom because the Internet serves as a powerful platform to bring information and resources to people who historically have been isolated, or their human rights repressed, so they, too, have the chance to become active, prosperous, and engaged participants in the world community.
This year, alone, we have moved closer in many ways to reaching our goal. In May, at the World Telecommunication Policy Forum, we advanced U.S. initiatives to preserve the open Internet and promote the worldwide deployment of broadband communications. In June, we came together in Tunisia with other member states of the Freedom Online Coalition, a forum for like-minded governments -- 21 and growing -- committed to collaborating to advance Internet freedom. This provided us and others an opportunity to coordinate efforts and work with civil society to support the ability for individuals to exercise their universal human rights and fundamental freedoms online.
As part of our efforts to promote Internet freedom in Iran, in May the Administration authorized the sale of U.S. personal communication technologies to the Iranian public. We took that one step further and met with Silicon Valley companies to encourage them to provide the type of technologies that will enable Iranian citizens to connect, communicate, and have their voices heard.
Three months ago the State Department and USAID awarded $25 million to groups working to advance Internet freedom -- supporting counter-censorship and secure communications technology, digital safety training, and policy and research programs for people facing Internet repression. This funding is the most recent addition to our investment of over $100 million in innovative Internet freedom programs globally.
Finally, the State Department joined with other Freedom Online Coalition members to launch the Digital Defenders Partnership, an unprecedented collaboration among government donors to provide emergency support for Internet users under threat in repressive environments.
We do this work every day and it is a top priority. The Internet is an endless resource of information. Respect for the freedoms of expression, peaceful assembly, and association has the ability to enhance lives in ways we can't even imagine, as long as we extend the same respect for these fundamental freedoms to the online world.
Facebook, GSMA and The Walt Disney Company Join the USTTI Board of Directors
The USTTI is proud to welcome Facebook, The GSM Association and The Walt Disney Company to our dedicated Board of Directors. Sara Wynn-Williams, Manager of Global Public Policy for Facebook; Belinda Exelby, Head of Institutional Relations for GSM Association and Ellen Blackler, Vice President of Global Public Policy for The Walt Disney Company will each represent their companies on the USTTI Board. The participation of these thought leaders and global entities will allow the USTTI to expand the scope of our curriculum and continue to address the needs of our scholars through the ongoing efforts of the women and men who volunteer their time and expertise to conduct USTTI's tuition-free courses.
USTTI Participation in AU ICT Week
USTTI Executive Director, Jim O'Connor will travel to Addis Abba, Ethiopia to participate in the African Union Commission's 2013 African ICT Week. During his time in Addis Abba, Jim will participate in discussions addressing the week's theme "Promoting Pan-Africanism: African Renaissance through ICT towards AU 2063 Vision."
USTTI Alumni participating in the AU ICT Week should contact Jim directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) to establish a time and place to meet during his visit to Ethiopia.
The USTTI offices will close on Thursday, November 28 to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday with friends and family. Thanksgiving is a day reserved for Americans to give thanks for the good fortune they have experienced in the past year.
In 1620, settlers from England arrived on the American continent. They endured a harsh winter, confined to the ships they arrived in. However, by the fall of 1621, largely thanks to the friendly aid of the local Native American tribe, the Wampanoag, the settlers were able to celebrate their first, successful harvest in the New World. Thanksgiving has been celebrated ever since as reminder of the United States' humble beginnings.