At the first session of the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway (AP-IS) Steering Committee in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 1-2 November 2017, Pacific island participants (Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu) identified four priority areas for the subregional implementation of AP-IS, namely 1) capacity building on the AP-IS four pillars; 2) connectivity and access to isolated communities; 3) infrastructure sharing policy and 4) cybersecurity and associated policies. In this context, the Pacific island participants requested that ESCAP, and its partners, provide technical support and hold a subregional capacity development meeting on these priority areas as part of the implementation of AP-IS subregional
The above-mentioned four priority areas for the Pacific island countries and AP-IS subregional implementation plan were discussed at the Dhaka meeting based on ESCAP studies and analyses. According to a recent ESCAP study, 18 ESCAP member States, on average, had less than 2 percent of their populations with fixed-broadband subscriptions in 2016. Out of the 18 countries, 8 are Pacific island countries (45%). In the case of mobile broadband subscription, 13 ESCAP member States, on average, had less than 20 percent of their respective populations had access to mobile-broadband services in 2016. Six are Pacific island countries (46%).