Telecommunications and Information

The APEC Telecommunications and Information Working Group (abbreviated as TEL) was established in 1990 and meets biannually

The TEL aims to advance the development of information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructure and services as well as to promote cooperation, information sharing and the development of effective ICT policies and regulations in the Asia-Pacific region. The TEL also aims to enhance social and economic development through effective use of ICTs, promote a secure and trusted ICT environment. Ultimately, the group hopes to build an Asia-Pacific Information Society (APIS).

In practice, the TEL aims to ensure that all people in the Asia-Pacific region have affordable access to ICTs and the internet, for which broadband connectivity has become an essential component. In the first APEC Telecommunications and Information Ministerial Meeting (TELMIN1) in 1995, ministers released the  Seoul Declaration for the Asia Pacific Information Infrastructure (APII), through which they agreed to making the telecommunications and information sector a model sector in achieving the Bogor Goals by intensifying Asia-Pacific development cooperation and improving the region’s information infrastructure.

In 2000, APEC Leaders set the Brunei Goal of universal internet access by 2010 and aimed to triple internet access within the Asia-Pacific region by 2005.

In the TEL Bangkok Declaration in 2008, telecommunications and information ministers noted with satisfaction that the Leaders' Brunei Goal of tripling internet access had been achieved and affirmed the commitment to achieving universal access to broadband by 2015.

In the 2010 Okinawa Declaration, TEL ministers set the ambitious goal of access to next-generation high-speed broadband by 2020 to nurture the growth of knowledge-based economies in the APEC region.

In 2017, leaders noted the importance of promoting the Internet Economy and welcomed the adoption of the APEC Internet and Digital Economy Roadmap. The TEL had contributed to drafting the roadmap and will play an important role in implementation of it.

The TEL also supports achieving the Bogor Goals of open and free trade and investment in the APEC region by 2020 in the field of ICT and digital economy.

The TEL conducts its work program through the following steering groups:

  • Liberalization Steering Group (LSG)
  • ICT Development Steering Group (DSG)
  • Security and Prosperity Steering Group (SPSG)

The LSG also includes a Conformity Assessment and Mutual Recognition Task Force (CA & MRA TF) to implement a mutual recognition arrangement on conformity assessment of telecommunications equipment (MRA-CA) and to draft a mutual recognition arrangement for equivalence of technical requirements in telecommunications equipment (MRA-ETR).

The steering groups and task force propose and implement projects that address priorities set by both TEL ministers and APEC Leaders. In 2015, the 10th Ministerial Meeting on Telecommunications and Information (TELMIN10) endorsed the TEL Strategic Action Plan (SAP) for 2016–2020, with the following priority areas:

  • Develop and support ICT innovation
  • Promote a secure, resilient and trusted ICT environment
  • Promote regional economic integration
  • Enhance the digital economy and the internet economy
  • Strengthen cooperation
Last page update: April 2020

Current Activities

The 60th Meeting of the Telecommunications and Information Working Group (TEL60) was held in Seoul from 13 to 18 October 2019. TEL60 conducted three roundtables on the following topics:

  • Facilitating Innovation and Diversity of 5G Network Ecosystems in APEC Region
  • Public-Private Partnership in Data-Driven Economy for Encouraging Innovation
  • Regulatory Challenges and Opportunities from Emerging Technologies

In addition, there were three drafting sessions for a five-year strategic action plan (SAP 2021-2025).

The projects that are currently in progress for each steering group are as follows.

ICT DEVELOPMENT STEERING GROUP (DSG)

The ICT Development Steering Group (DSG) focuses on expanding digital access and usage, and exploring new ICT applications and services in the APEC region. At TEL60, the worked on the following activities:

ICT Skills Framework Project (Papua New Guinea)*

This project aims to solve the shortage of skills in the ICT sector, starting by defining ICT skills. The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) has been either adopted or considered by five out of the six economies as a useful reference framework to build skills across the region. At TEL60, the project steering committee discussed the ways to contextualize the adoption of SFIA by economies and to develop mutual recognition agreement for an ICT Skills Framework within APEC.

Recommendations for Implementation of Smart Sustainable City (SSC) ICT Infrastructure in the APEC Region (Viet Nam)

The project has three objectives:

  • Ensure to identify prerequisite conditions to deploy smart sustainable city (SSC) ICT infrastructure in a certain city/urban geographical area in the APEC region
  • Create a framework for analyzing key elements needed to support the development of SSC ICT infrastructure in the APEC region
  • Develop recommendations to help economies recognize importance of deploying SSC ICT infrastructure

At TEL60, a workshop was held to address policies and regulations for SSC deployment, ICT standards and opportunities/challenges of ICT infrastructure deployment. Participants discussed a case study from Chinese Taipei.

(* This project was implemented jointly by the DSG and LSG.)

APEC e-Government Research Center 2020 (Japan) – Extension

The APEC e-Government Research Center 2020 is a multi-year project. The main activities of the center are monitoring and assessing the e-APEC initiative, maintaining a data bank for e-government readiness for member economies and conducting trainings with a distance online system. The center also offers recommendations for the improvement of e-government implementation. As part of the center’s commitment to addressing e-government issues, the center is working on e-APEC. At TEL60, the project overseer, Dr. Obi, shared critical digital government issues that had been discussed at the meetings he had been attended intersessionally. The issues include harmonization between central and local governments, finding solutions to new urban issues (such as infrastructure for citizens’ quality of life), and lessons from megacities.

Smart Silver Innovation Project 2019–2023 (Japan)

The project seeks to identify solutions to the challenges from an ageing society through the use of ICTs (i.e., “smart silver innovation”) and knowledge sharing. More specifically, it considers the range of applications of emerging technologies (like the internet of things, big data, AI, and 5G). At TEL60, Japan gave a brief on the project and shared the result of the first “Smart Silver Innovation” meeting which was held in Taipei on 26 September 2019.

APII Testbed Project 2020 (Korea)

The APII testbed networks are widely available to industry, academia and government to promote the timely development of new applications and strategic international joint research and cooperation through connecting testbeds in the Asia-Pacific. At TEL60, Korea updated on activities of KOREN in 2019 and plans for future activities. From 2020, they plan to upgrade the network to an AI-based intelligent network (4-year project) as well as 5G convergence testbed.

Innovation Roundtable on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) for Data-Driven Economies (Korea)

The main objective of this roundtable is to facilitate information exchange of best practices for leveraging data among APEC economies. At a TEL60 roundtable, participants raised the importance of connectivity as the essential foundation for taking advantage of the data-driven economy. It also highlighted the need to take into account things such as security, privacy, and personal data protection.

LIBERALIZATION STEERING GROUP (LSG)

The Liberalization Steering Group (LSG) focuses on regional economic integration in ICT, and on effective policy and regulatory frameworks for industrial innovation and public interest. At TEL60, they worked on the following activities:

Conformity Assessment & Mutual Recognition Arrangement Task Force (CA&MRA TF)

The task force discusses, learns about, and shares best practices on processes used to determine that products meet the necessary technical and regulatory requirements before and after being placed on the market. This includes topics such as accreditation and market surveillance. The task force also shares best practices and solutions to various challenges faced by regulators that are managing the conformity assessment procedures for telecommunication equipment for their economies.

Regulatory Roundtable on Regulatory Challenges and Opportunities from Emerging Technologies (Korea)

The objective of this roundtable is to share the views on changing roles and challenges of existing regulations in the era of digital transformation to encourage developing new business models and services. The roundtable was consisted of two sessions. The first session focused on the regulatory challenges in the era of the fourth industrial revolution. The second session focused on sharing their policy initiatives to deal with regulatory challenges for encouraging innovation and to minimize the risks brought about by new technologies. 

Industry Roundtable on Facilitating Innovation and Diversity of 5G Networks Ecosystems in APEC Region (Korea)

The objective of this roundtable is to share various initiatives for promoting a vibrant and diverse 5G ecosystem with multi-stakeholder engagement. The roundtable was consisted of two sessions. The first session covered Korea’s experiences of establishing 5G networks, 5G commercialization experiences, etc. In the second session, three speakers were invited to share the strategies for the next generation network in the APEC region.

Recommendations for Implementation of Smart Sustainable City (SSC) ICT Infrastructure in the APEC Region (Viet Nam)

The project has three objectives:

  • Ensure to identify prerequisite conditions to deploy SSC ICT Infrastructure in a certain city/urban geographical area in the APEC region
  • Create a framework for analyzing key elements needed to support the development of SSC ICT infrastructure in the APEC region
  • Develop recommendations to help economies recognize importance of deploying SSC ICT infrastructure.

At TEL60, a workshop was held to address policies and regulations for SSC deployment, ICT standards and opportunities/challenges of ICT infrastructure deployment. Participants discussed a case study from Chinese Taipei. (* This project has been implemented jointly in DSG and LSG.)

SECURITY AND PROSPERITY STEERING GROUP (SPSG)

The Security and Prosperity Steering Group (SPSG) focuses on promoting security and trust in networks and cybercrime prevention. They are working on the following activities:

Public-Private Dialogue on Status, Trends, Opportunities and Threats of Social Network (Thailand)

The project aims to promote the sharing of information and experiences between the public and private sectors, including NGOs and academia, with a view to examining and updating the status, trends opportunities, and threats, as well as bringing forward best practices and recommendations on social network. At TEL60, Thailand received comments from member economies on the current draft report and will provide a new draft for consideration ahead of TEL61. 

Cyber Security Awareness Activity (United States)

This is a collaborative effort between government and industry to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and ensure that all Americans have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online. In this context, the United States created the National Cybersecurity Awareness Month Toolkit that provides tips and resources to engage with stakeholders to promote positive, lasting cybersecurity habits.

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Achievements

Telecommunications and Information

APEC economies have achieved the goal of tripling internet access in the region, originally set in the 2000 APEC Leaders' Declaration (the Brunei Declaration) and the goal of universal internet access by 2010. Economies are currently working to establish and implement policies to reach the goal of universal access to broadband by 2015.

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Contact Us

Dr NAM Sang-yirl

TEL Chair
Korea Information Society Development Institute (KISDI)
18 Jeongtong-ro, Deoksan-myeon
JINCHEON-GUN, Chungcheongbuk-do 27872
Korea (Rep. of)
synam@kisdi.re.kr

Ms Christine Cho

Assistant to the Chair
Korea Information Society Development Institute (KISDI)
18 Jeongtong-ro, Deoksan-myeon
JINCHEON-GUN, Chungcheongbuk-do 27872
Korea (Rep. of)
jc202@kisdi.re.kr

Mr Adrian CHENG

Program Director
acsp@apec.org