Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation

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Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation
International section Non-government organisation
Headquarters London, England

The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) is an international development partnership between Commonwealth and non-Commonwealth governments, business and civil society organisations. It is based in London, UK.


The Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) traces its origins to the creation of the Pacific Cable Board[1] in 1901. In 1896, The Pacific Cable Committee had been formed to consider how the last element of a global electrical telegraph network connecting all parts of what was then the British Empire could be completed across the Pacific. By 1872, messages had been able to be sent from London to Adelaide or Sydney, and Australia had been linked to New Zealand by cable in 1876, but there was no connection across the Pacific to the west coast of Canada. Following the Committee’s deliberations, a Pacific Cable Board was created in 1901 consisting of eight members (three from Britain, two from Canada, two from Australia and one from New Zealand), and work commenced on laying the cable in 1902.

Subsequently, in 1928 the Imperial Communications Advisory Committee[2] was formed to advise the British government on technical as well as international and Commonwealth issues. Chaired by a Cabinet Minister, it comprised members of the defence services, the Post Office and the Commonwealth. In 1944 this committee became renamed the Commonwealth Communications Council, and in 1949 it became the Commonwealth Telecommunications Board.This coincided with the London Declaration[3] of 1949 which paved the way for a new kind of Commonwealth, based upon membership of the newly independent countries that had once been part of the British Empire.

Subsequent changes in the central organisation for the Commonwealth’s telecommunications sector closely reflected the growth and change of both the Commonwealth and also the telecommunications industry over the next fifty years. In 1965 an important Commonwealth Telecommunications Conference[4] was held in London, which reconvened in 1966 and recommended that a new Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) should be established, consisting of a Council composed of members of partner governments and a bureau based in London under the control and direction of the Council.

The first meeting of the CTO’s Council took place in 1967, and in 1968 the Commonwealth Telecommunications Act[5] repealed the provisions relating to the Commonwealth Telecommunications Board, replacing these with provision for a new legal entity to be known as the Commonwealth Telecommunications Bureau which took over the old Board’s functions in 1969. In the same year a Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation Financial Agreement [6] was put in place to provide a new unified accounting mechanism for the organisation, and this was superseded by new agreements in 1973 and in1983.

At its annual conference in 1992,[7] member governments agreed to Council’s proposal that the scope of the organisation’s Programme for Development and Training (PDT) should be expanded, while terminating the CTO’s preferential adjustments under the Commonwealth Accounting Arrangements. Funding thereafter became a central issue of concern, and during the mid-1990s Australia and New Zealand widthrew from the organisation largely because of their concerns over proposals for financial contributions, with Canada subsequently withdrawing in 2001. In its modern form, the CTO has therefore existed since 1967 as an international treaty organisation, independent of the Commonwealth Secretariat, and with diplomatic status in its host country, the UK. Its constitution was first agreed by Commonwealth Governments in Ottawa in 1972, and has been revised subsequently on various occasions. The current Constitution[8] and the Rules of Procedure[8] of the CTO came into force in 2002. The CTO is currently governed by its Council, with an Executive Committee overseeing the activities of the Secretariat between Council meetings. Formerly based in central London, its offices are now located to the west of the city in Hammersmith.


Mission & Vision[edit]

The CTO is the largest and oldest Commonwealth membership organisation committed to using information and communication technologies (ICTs) appropriately and effectively for development (ICT4D).

  • CTO's mission is: To promote, facilitate and guide members in using ICTs to deliver effective development interventions.
  • CTO's vision is: To be the preferred partner organisation for governments, the private sector and civil society in delivering effective ICTs for development (ICT4D) in the Commonwealth and beyond.

The CTO seeks to work collaboratively with other Commonwealth bodies to build mutually beneficial synergies in the interests of its members. The CTO has a key role to play in leading ICT4D initiatives across the Commonwealth, and it is committed to working together with other Commonwealth entities to reduce overlap and replication of activities. The CTO welcomes the opportunity to offer Secretariat support to any Commonwealth ICT initiatives that reflect the needs and interests of its members.

The CTO adopts a broad definition of ‘development’. While recognising the current dominant understanding of development, which interprets it largely as economic growth, the CTO also supports the use of ICTs to deliver social, cultural and political dimensions of development. To this end, the CTO’s approach detailed in our current Strategic Plan can be summarised as encapsulating the four ‘e-s’ of emancipating, enriching, equalising and empowering.

Strategic Plan[edit]

The CTO is an international organisation committed to supporting its members in using information and communication technologies (ICTs) appropriately and effectively for development (ICT4D). During the Strategic Plan period (2012/13 – 2015/16) the CTO’s activities will be focused around delivering five main interlinked outputs: Vibrant CTO membership committed to its vision Enhanced ICT4D capacity development amongst members More effective multi-stakeholder ICT4D partnerships operating in Commonwealth countries Greater engagement by the private sector in ICT4D initiatives in Commonwealth countries CTO as thought-leader in 6 niche areas of expertise Underlying all of these, a sixth crucial element of the plan is to have a robust CTO Secretariat capable of delivering transparently and professionally on the needs of its members. The CTO’s six niche areas of focus are:

Broadband, especially mobile broadband[9] for rural development (including food security)

Cybersecurity[10] and cybercrime

ICTs for people with disabilities[11]

Regulatory[12] environments (including convergence and digital broadcasting switchover)

The use of ICTs in education,[13] with particular reference to skills development and entrepreneurship

Youth and ICTs[14]


The CTO governance is based on:

  • The CTO Constitution[15]
  • The Rules of Procedure[16]
  • The CTO Ethical Framework[17]

The Constitution and the Rules of Procedure were adopted in 2002 by the CTO Council while the Ethical Framework was adopted in 2012. At its Council meeting in October 2012 in Mauritius the Council adopted revisions to the Constitution that were recommended to it by a working group of Council members.

Primarily the CTO’s Governance is exercised through four organs:

Council – Consisting of representatives nominated by Full Member Countries, the Council is the highest policy-making body of the CTO. It meets annually to examine the progress of the Organisation and to suggest future programmes. Council elects the Chairperson, the First Vice Chairperson and the Second Vice Chairperson of the CTO who hold office for one year. Executive Committee (ExCo) – Consisting of the Chairperson, the First Vice Chairperson, the Second Vice Chairperson, a Sector member representing the Development Partners, a Sector member representing the Industry Partners, the immediate past Chairperson, the Chairperson of the Programme for Development and Training and the Secretary General, the ExCo oversees the activities of the CTO between Council meetings. Forum – Held annually, immediately preceding the Council meeting, the Forum is the platform for Sector members to examine issues critically important to them. Forum also elects the Sector member representatives to the ExCo. Secretariat – Headed by the Secretary General, the Secretariat is the body that delivers the mandate of the Organisation by implementing the agreed work programme.

Priority Areas[edit]

Mobile Broadband[edit]

The Broadband Commission[18] consisting of ICT sector stakeholders established by UN’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has set four clear targets for making broadband policy universal and for boosting affordability and broadband uptake:

  • Target 1: Making broadband policy universal. By 2015, all countries should have a national broadband plan or strategy or include broadband in their Universal Access/Service Definitions.
  • Target 2: Making broadband affordable. By 2015, entry-level broadband services should be made affordable in developing countries through adequate regulation and market forces (amounting to less than 5% of average monthly income).
  • Target 3: Connecting homes to broadband. By 2015, 40% of households in developing countries should have Internet access.
  • Target 4: Getting people online. By 2015, Internet user penetration should reach 60% worldwide, 50% in developing countries and 15% in LDCs.

Given the constraints of existing infrastructures, these ambitious targets can only be achieved through an expansion in the provision of mobile broadband services, in the form of wireless Internet access through a portable or mobile device. For poorer countries, without extensive fixed line infrastructure, mobile broadband technologies are an effective way through which they can achieve the delivery of high-speed Internet access to mass markets, thereby ensuring that their populations can utilise the development benefits of such technologies.

Many companies and organisations have come together to form the Third Generation Partnership Project[19] (3GPP) to develop a series of standards that provide the basis of Third Generation (3G) mobile broadband technologies, including EDGE (Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution), CDMA2000 1X/EVDO[20] (Evolution Data Optimised), WCDMA[21] (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access, or W-CDMA), UMTS HSPA [22] (Universal Mobile Telecommunication System High Speed Packet Access), and more recently LTE[23] (Long Term Evolution) and 4G.

Mobile Broadband is a key focus of the CTO’s work, due to the potential it has to promote further development across the world; a world in which the uptake of smart phones exceeds that of personal computers in many countries. Smart mobile devices and a multitude of digital applications have enabled users to run their businesses, access financial and health records, conduct research, and complete transactions using their mobile devices. This has also meant a major shift in consumer expectations and requiring manufacturers to adopt new technologies like NFC (Near Field Communications) and to develop handsets continually to meet consumer expectations.

The CTO works with all stakeholders to encourage the rapid and effective roll out of mobile broadband. We place particular emphasis on this because mobile infrastructure and devices have the potential to provide broadband access to as many people as possible in the shortest time. The CTO has a wealth of expertise and experience in this field, and has successfully delivered international conferences, capacity development training programmes and many research projects. The focus of the CTO Forum 2012 in Mauritius, for example, was “Mobile Broadband for Development”, and other events such as the Pacific Broadband Forum, jointly organised by ITU and the CTO in 2012 also addressed this important theme.

In particular, the CTO is especially interested in ways through which mobile broadband can be used to enhance food security at a range of scales, from the national to the local. There are many exciting initiatives, for example, that can enable nomadic pastoralists to gain information about the quality of pasture through mobile sensor networks, or through which sensors can also be used to provide information to farmers about the quality of grain being stored in their granaries. Mobile broadband has huge potential to help communities and countries ensure that they are better prepared to achieve food security.

Cybersecurity and Cyber crime[edit]

Growth of connectivity, content and applications in ICT channels make ICTs an integral part of modern society. Consequently, it has become mandatory for ICT stakeholders to work together to assure the safety, security and resilience of these channels. The CTO’s Cybersecurity agenda seeks to assist member countries, with the support of its partners, to design and implement robust Cybersecurity frameworks.

The CTO’s engagement in Cybersecurity started in 2007 when two staff members took part in the High Level Experts Group of ITU’s Global Cybersecurity Agenda.[24] Since then the CTO has contributed to a number of working groups and participated in various initiatives including its partnership with ITU’s cybersecurity executing arm, the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT), to pave way for the two organisations to work towards the facilitation of information flow and resources, capacity building and the setting up of robust cybersecurity frameworks for protection against cyber crime. As highlighted by Datuk Mohd. Noor Amin, Chairman of IMPACT, the strategic alliance enables both parties to jointly enhance the global cooperation to combat cyber threats.[25] Professor Unwin,[26] Secretary General of the CTO, was also appointed onto the IMPACT International Advisory Board in September 2012, which further reflects the CTO’s focus on this niche area, and its close working relationship with the ITU. The annual Commonwealth Cybersecurity Forum, organised by the CTO, has been running since 2010, building capacity and facilitating partnerships.

Child Online Protection[26] (COP) is an ITU initiative which was launched following the Global Cybersecurity Agenda which seeks to ensure safety and security for children in online environments in order to afford them an opportunity to benefit fully from the ICT revolution. Tackling Cybersecurity holistically, COP will address legal, technical, organisational and procedural issues as well as capacity building and international cooperation.

The CTO has partnered with the ITU to implement COP in its member countries starting with Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Mauritius, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. The project, launched in Mauritius on 24 October 2012, will progress through several stages to complete implementation by April 2014.

ICTs and disability[edit]

ICTs can transform the lives of those with greater disabilities far more than they can the lives of those with fewer disabilities.[11] Global commitments to ensuring universal access have all too often failed sufficiently to address the specific needs of people with particular disabilities.The CTO is therefore committed to championing the interests of people with disabilities, seeking to ensure that they are not further disadvantaged by the increasing expansion of ICTs across the world.

In August 2012 the CTO hosted a Ministerial Summit on e-Accessibility together with the UK’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport. The summit provided a platform for delegates to discuss how countries can turn the rhetoric of their policies into practical actions that will make a difference to the lives of people with disabilities. The summit concluded with agreement around eight action points that are necessary for taking this forward: The inclusion of e-inclusion on the CHOGM agenda;

  1. Policies and practices so that people with disabilities should have equal access to ICTs and accessible information, without having to pay a premium for it;
  2. An e-inclusion champion in every Commonwealth country;
  3. An e-inclusion policy in every Commonwealth country;
  4. The sharing of examples of existing good practice in the Commonwealth and beyond;
  5. Government and business use of ICT procurement to encourage inclusive design;
  6. The Accessible Technology Charter; and
  7. Effective training programmes on e-inclusion for governments, the private sector and civil society.

The CTO is excited to be working closely with member countries, and especially with Ghana and Mauritius, to take forward this agenda in practice, and welcomes the involvement of interested parties in crafting multi-stakeholder partnerships to develop effective interventions with and for people with disabilities.


There is a fundamental need across the Commonwealth, and other parts of the world, for efficient regulatory environments to be established that satisfy national and international needs, whilst also providing attractive opportunities for private sector investment. The changing roles of regulators, the need for harmonisation on spectra, the protection of intellectual property rights, and the fostering of partnerships are all important aspects of this agenda. Against this background, the CTO has particularly championed digital broadcasting switchover issues.

Indeed, with technological innovations and market evolutions in ICTs, new applications such as e-commerce, m-commerce, m-banking or e-learning increasingly bring tangible benefits to individuals and communities. At the same time, these changes are setting new challenges in key areas of regulatory interventions, including:

The CTO is committed to assist members with the development of regulatory strategies, frameworks and roadmaps that provide clear visibility and guidance in each of the above areas, through programmes in research, consulting, capacity development and training, as well as through fora for discussion at regional events and conferences.[27]

Skills development[edit]

A key issue facing many governments is the need to ensure that their citizens have the necessary skills, not only to ensure sustainable economic activity, but also to help shape a harmonious society. To this end, much attention has been given to finding ways through which ICTs can support skills development and entrepreneurship. However, there remains much uncertainty about the ways through which ICTs can best be used in differing circumstances to assist people in gaining these skills. The CTO is therefore working with its members and partners to develop and share guidance on good practices in the use of ICTs for education, particularly focusing on skills development and entrepreneurship. This work concentrates not just on formal contexts within education systems, but also on vocational training and lifelong learning. Considerable attention has been paid over the last decade to the benefits of e-learning, and more recently mobile- or m-learning. Likewise there is a body of literature advocating the need for specific 21st century skills, although others argue that many of the most important skills for learning and entrepreneurship are no different today from what they were centuries ago.

The CTO is delighted to be working closely with UNCTAD[28] in this area, and to have co-hosted the launch of their 2011 and 2012 Information Economy Reports. Much of the CTOs work on entrepreneurship is also closely related to our focus on Youth and ICTs.

Youth and ICTs[edit]

The population of the Commonwealth is 2.3 billion people, one third of the world’s population. If there is one overarching characteristic of this family of 54 nations, it is that the population of the Commonwealth is young; more than half of Commonwealth citizens are under the age of 25 and one quarter are under the age of 5 years old. This young population means that issues concerning youth are of paramount importance to all Commonwealth stakeholders, now and in the near future.

The young people of the Commonwealth are central to its future development. The CTO works to ensure that ICTs can assist in releasing the inherent potential of the Commonwealth’s youth, so that their energy, innovation, drive and desire to question the status quo are realised. At the same time, there are many challenges and threats, both natural and human, that prevent many young people fulfilling their potential through the use of ICTs. The CTO works to protect young people from threats and challenges in their use of ICTs. Much of this work involves empowering young people, so that they are better able to protect themselves, but it also involves working to creating synergies with those stakeholders and organisations that work to ensure young people are protected.

The CTO seeks both to host events specifically in its niche areas, and also to include niche aspects within its mainstream event. This was typified by the youth element that was included in the CTO’s e-Gov Africa conference hosted in Botswana in March 2012, and as part of CTO's work on Youth and ICTs, the CTO is keen to encourage active youth participation at our events. CTO are also strongly supporting the ITU’s Global Youth Summit, BYND 2015,[29] to be held in Costa Rica from 9–11 September 2013.

The Youth theme closely overlaps with the CTO’s work on Cybersecurity, particularly on Child Online Protection, as well as CTO's work on skills development and entrepreneurship.


CTO's Member[edit]

The CTO has two broad categories of members: Countries, and ICT Sector Members. Full Member Countries[30] are member states of the Commonwealth that have given an undertaking to make an annual payment to the CTO; Member countries are all other member states of the Commonwealth. ICT Sector Members[31] pay an annual membership fee and include other government departments or regulators, private sector companies, civil society organisation, international organisations, and other entities that share the CTO’s objectives. Non-Commonwealth countries are welcome to join the CTO as ICT Sector Members. The CTO also has a Programme for Development and Training[32] that has separate membership, and is designed primarily to enable members to participate in each other’s capacity development and training schemes.

Membership benefits[edit]

The CTO is a vibrant membership organisation.[citation needed] The CTO is driven by its members’ interests and priorities, and its programmes and activities are based on the needs of members. The CTO offers a strategic channel for members to:

  • Influence the shaping of the global ICT agenda
  • Advocate and reach consensus on policy and regulatory positions
  • Form alliances and build relationships
  • Provide private sector members with greater access to policy makers
  • Raise awareness and promote priorities of current and future ICT4D initiatives

This also includes many operational benefits such as:

  • The opportunity to participate in the CTO Council meeting and Forum. This is the apex conference of the CTO, which is hosted by a member country annually and is attended by senior policy makers and heads of regulatory authorities
  • The chance to play a pivotal and direct role in the governance[8] of the Organisation’s by election to the Executive Committee[33]
  • Receiving training to build capacity in a wide range of components of ICTs
  • Opportunities to participate at various CTO conferences and events on topical subjects as a speaker, exhibitor or delegate
  • Gaining access to cutting-edge research,[34] information, toolkits, models and templates developed by the CTO

Membership is usually available on an annual renewable basis, but the CTO is happy to consider three and five year membership options arrangements. All membership other than for public sector bodies is subject to the CTO’s ethical framework and a basic due diligence check.


Members of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation are those that pay membership fees and thereby gain all of the benefits of belonging to the Organisation. Not all entities are able to do this, and so we also have a category of CTO Partners, which are those organisations that the CTO works with to deliver particular outputs such as research, events or training activities, but that are not Members. All Partners sign a Memorandum of Understanding and comply with the CTO’s ethical guidelines.

Commonwealth Organisations

  • Commonwealth of Learning (COL)[35]
  • Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA)[36]
  • Comnet[37]

International and Regional Organisations

  • African Telecommunications Union[38]
  • African Forum for Utility Regulators (AFUR)[39]
  • AfriNIC[40]
  • Asia Pacific Telecommunity (APT)[41]
  • Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organizations (CANTO)[42]
  • Caribbean Telecommunications Union[43]
  • Communications Regulators’ Association of Southern Africa (CRASA)[44]
  • East African Communications Organisation[45]
  • Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development (GAID)[46]
  • ICANN – Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)[47]
  • The International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Threats (IMPACT)[48]
  • International Telecommunication Union (ITU)[49]
  • International Telecommunications Satellite Organisation (ITSO)[50]
  • Organisation of Caribbean Utility Regulators (OOCUR)[51]
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)[28]
  • The West Africa Telecommunications Regulators Assembly (WATRA)[52]

Private Sector

  • Strategic Bridge
  • The World Information Technology and Services Alliance (WITSA)[53]
  • The International Cybersecurity Protection Alliance (ICSPA)[54]

Civil Society and Not-for-Profit Organisations and Associations

  • Southern Africa Telecommunications Association (SATA)[55]
  • Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM)[56]
  • The Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association (PITA)[57]
  • Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC) of India[58]


The CTO convenes three main types of events and conferences either by itself or in collaboration with our members and partners:

  • Large annual conferences in different parts of the Commonwealth, including the CTO Forum and Council meeting, Connecting Rural Communities (CRC), Digital Broadcasting Switchover (DBSF) in Africa and the Caribbean, e-Government Africa, ICT Financing, and Cybersecurity;
  • Smaller high level summits and events, focusing on the CTO’s particular niche areas, such as the e-Accessibility Summit held in London in 2012; and
  • Events on specific themes requested by our members and partners, including launches of our research reports, roundtable discussions, and partnership brokering gatherings.

Past event[edit]

Events are a fundamental part of the CTO’s activities and are an essential element of the services available to members. These events fulfill a number of roles: connecting communities, educating, offering technological solutions and helping participants to define and map their future objectives. The CTO organises international conferences across the Commonwealth every year. These events span a broad range of themes such as Rural Connectivity, e-Gov, ICT Finance and Digital Broadcasting Switchover. The CTO also organises tailored events around our six niche areas,[59] in the form of high level policy summits, knowledge sharing conferences, and technology showcases, providing delegates with an opportunity to gain industry contacts and exchange ICT experiences from across the Commonwealth.

So that potential partners, sponsors and delegates can gain a full understanding of the nature of CTO events, and for an overview of the events that the CTO has organised over the last few years, Event Reports are available on our[who?] website. These provide a synopsis of the contributions from speakers, any policy agreements or papers that came out of the events and the overall conclusions which can be drawn on the topic of the event. These are also informative for anyone wishing to attend a CTO event[60] in the future so that they can see the format of and lessons learnt from previous events.

We also seek to make available as many of the presentations delivered at our events as possible. These can be accessed from the links to conferences each year in the margin to the left.

2013 Past Event
India Global ICT Forum[61] 6–8 May 2013 India – New Delhi Communication, Multimedia And Infrastructure Association of India[62]

International Telecommunication Union[63]

Commonwealth Cybersecurity Forum[64] 25-26 Apr 2013 Yaounde, Cameroon Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Cameroon[65]

Cameroon Telecommunications Regulatory Board[66]

e-Gov Africa[67] 25-27 Mar 2013 Uganda – Kampala Uganda Communications Commission (UCC)[68]

Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, Uganda[69]

DBSF Africa[70] 11-13 Feb 2013 South Africa – Johannesburg Department of Communications, South Africa[71]
2012 Past Event
ICT Finance 2012[72] 15-16 Nov 2012 London
10th Annual CTO Forum[73] 22-24 Oct 2012 Mauritius Information and Communication Technologies Authority of Mauritius[74]
DBSF Caribbean[75] 13-14 Aug 2012 St. John’s Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA)[76]

Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU)[77]

HR4ICT[78] 16-18 Apr 2012 London Department for Culture Media & Sport[79]
CRC Africa[80] 20-22 Jun 2012 Sierra Leone National Telecommunications Commission (NATCOM) of Sierra[81]


The CTO has a long tradition of providing cost-effective training for its members. Since 1985, the Programme for Development and Training[32] (PDT) has offered governments, regulatory agencies and operators around the world a global resource for acquiring wider knowledge on specific issues, through unique training and expert assistance programmes. PDT emerged from a desire amongst CTO members to benefit from the high quality training that their peers were already providing.

PDT participants learn through sharing their experience with peers from other countries as well as the expertise available within an international network of qualified technology and industry experts. These experts assist them in the deployment of new technologies, the adoption of good practices and the application of business solutions at local level. As a membership programme managed by the CTO, the PDT is a vital platform for sharing expertise among its members. Training, consulting and other services offered through the programme are developed and delivered by practising professionals from across the Commonwealth and beyond.

Building on the success of PDT, the CTO also offers a wide range of bespoke training courses[82] for organisations across the world.


The CTO’s research and consultancy division undertakes research and consultancy projects for CTO members and non-members. Over the last decade the Division has become an invaluable resource for a wide range of stakeholders, including multilateral and bilateral development partners, ICT operating companies, ICT Ministries and Regulators, civil society organisations and various industry associations.

Through these projects, the Research and Consultancy Division aims to help its clients answer critical questions about the development of ICTs in the Commonwealth and beyond, their impact on socio-economic development, and future trends in usage of ICTS.

By producing reports on a range of topics, such as policy and regulatory development, institutional capacity building, business analysis and improved stakeholder engagement, the Research and Consultancy Division has enabled stakeholders to gain a wider understanding of the ICT-driven world they live in, and adapt to it in order to meet their institutional, business and socio-economic development objectives.

By producing reports on a range of topics, such as policy and regulatory development, institutional capacity building, business analysis and improved stakeholder engagement, the Research and Consultancy Division has enabled stakeholders to gain a wider understanding of the ICT-driven world they live in, and adapt to it in order to meet their institutional, business and socio-economic development objectives.

The Division also provides a consultancy service for both CTO members and non-members alike. These consultancies can be on specific themes within any of the CTO’s areas of work, particularly our six niche areas. Through these consultancies, governments, regulators, operators and any organisation or company with a specific focus on telecommunications can gain a greater understanding of a particular area of interest or policy for further socio-economic development.

CTO's areas of expertise for research, studies, consultancies and advisory services, include:

Policy and Regulatory Issues

  • National ICT Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Effective Governance of National ICT Institutions
  • Regional and Cross-border ICT Policies and Regulation
  • E-Governance and e-Applications
  • E-Legislation and Regulatory Impact
  • Licensing and Spectrum Management
  • Interconnection and Tariff Rationalisation
  • NGNs and Technological Convergence
  • Number Portability
  • Cyber Law

Rural Connectivity

  • Use and Impact of ICTs and Telecommunications
  • Use and Impact of Mobile Telephony, in particular
  • Universal Service Obligations and Access Funds
  • Telecentre Sustainability and Community Access Points

Innovative Drivers and Trends in the ICT Sector

  • Local e-Content Development and Governance
  • m-Services (m-Banking, m-Remittances etc.)
  • VOIP Use and Regulation
  • ICTs for Disaster Management (ICT4DM)
  • Human Capacity Building for ICTs
  • Broadband Backbone Infrastructure
  • Development of Sustainable Business Models and Products
  • Corporate Social Responsibility for ICTs


The CTO supports its members in delivering effective ICTs through its three operational divisions: research and consultancy; training and capacity development; and events and conferences. CTO's work currently focuses on six key areas: regulatory environments, mobile broadband, cybersecurity, youth and ICTs, skills development and entrepreneurship, and ICTs and disability. The CTO provides IT support and training to developing countries to help them develop their communication infrastructure. According to the Commonwealth Secretariat, CTO has managed over 3,500 bilateral and multilateral telecommunications and ICT capacity-building projects in the form of policy, operational and regulatory training and expert assistance.[83]


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  2. ^ The CTO – a brief history | CTO: Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation. Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
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  5. ^ Commonwealth Telecommunications Act 1968. Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
  6. ^ Agreement terminating the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation financial agreement signed at... | National Library of Australia. Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
  7. ^ AIM25 collection description. Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
  8. ^ a b c Governance | CTO: Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation. Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
  9. ^ Mobile broadband | CTO: Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation. Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
  10. ^ Cybersecurity | CTO: Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation. Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
  11. ^ a b ICTs and disability | CTO: Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation. Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
  12. ^ Regulation | CTO: Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation. Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
  13. ^ Skills development | CTO: Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation. Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
  14. ^ Youth and ICTs Commonwealth Telecommununications Organisation | CTO: Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation. (2013-09-11). Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
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  19. ^ About 3GPP. Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
  20. ^ CDMA2000 - 1X RTT - CDMA2000 1XEV-DO - CDMA2000 1XDV. Telecom ABC. Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
  21. ^ WCDMA Tutorial | UMTS Tutorial & Overview. Radio-Electronics.Com. Retrieved on 2014-04-28.
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External links[edit]