The Problem of Universal Access: Who Needs to Act?

Start date: Tue, May 24th 2022 4:00 PM CET

A variety of national and regional programmes have outlined requirements for 6G to provide broadband access to everyone, as a part of their drives towards digital societies and inclusion. Supporting this requirement is not necessarily a ‘technology issue’, and certainly not entirely. It has policy and business components as well. So how do we deliver on these requirements in a way that makes sense both for business and society?


  • Bernadette Lewis
    Bernadette Lewis
    Secretary General, Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation

    Ms. Bernadette Lewis was appointed Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation in August 2020. This was a historic appointment as she is the first female Secretary General in the 122-year history of the CTO. Breaking the glass ceiling is not new to Ms. Lewis; she was also the first female Secretary-General of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU) since 2003 and is credited for making the CTU the foremost information and communication technology (ICT) inter-governmental institution in the Caribbean. Ms. Lewis has a wealth of experience and knowledgeable in national and international ICT issues, having also worked in senior positions at the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organisations (CANTO) and Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago when significant technological changes and convergence were transforming the industry. Ms. Lewis is passionate about ensuring that the Commonwealth citizens and beyond have affordable access also benefit from effective use of ICT

  • Glenn Katz
    Glenn Katz
    Chief Commercial Officer, Telesat

    Glenn Katz is Telesat’s Chief Commercial Officer and is responsible for product development, product management and product marketing, as well as leading and expanding the international sales team for all Telesat services. Mr. Katz is a deeply experienced and high-performing executive in the communications industry with a comprehensive understanding of complex networks and a proven track record of delivering innovative services and a compelling value proposition to drive profitable growth. Most recently, Mr. Katz served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of Enterprise Solutions for Comcast Business, an organization that he helped launch in 2014 and successfully expand over seven years. Before Comcast, Mr. Katz held positions as President and CEO of Spacenet, Inc., Interim President and CEO of Starband, and he served in a variety of executive and engineering roles with Gilat Satellite Networks, Scientific Atlanta, and Digital Transmission Systems. Mr. Katz earned Master and Bachelor degrees in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA.

  • Eleanor Sparpong
    Eleanor Sparpong
    Deputy Director, Web Foundation & Policy Lead, A4AI

    Eleanor is A4AI’s Deputy Director & Policy lead. She directs policy and has oversight on A4AI’s country engagements in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. She leads public policy engagements with governments and companies and has provided guidance on universal access, digital taxation, Infrastructure sharing, arbitrary regulations on the ICT sector and digital inclusion . She led the development of Liberia’s national broadband policy 2019-2024 and A4AI’s recommendations into Nigeria’s Broadband plan 2020-2025. She also oversaw the updating of the supplementary act for Universal Service for ECOWAS and currently directs A4AI’s work with a2i on a Digital Strategy for Bangladesh. Eleanor has a rich diverse industry experience in the ICT and public policy space working in private, public and not-for-profit sectors across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East (EMEA). Prior to joining A4AI, she consulted for the European Investment Bank (EIB), providing guidance for its policy on ICT lending to developing countries . She also consulted for the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization (CTO), where she advised on ICT, corporate social responsibility, financial inclusion and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Before moving to the CTO, she built and led MTN Ghana’s Government and Regulatory Affairs for 5years. She also served on two public boards for 3 years. Eleanor is passionate about connectivity, gender and development, and currently advocates for meaningful connectivity, universal access and affordability . She has championed and written on topics such as complementary connectivity solutions, 5G, universal access, consumer facing taxation, Infrastructure sharing and digital inclusion aimed particularly at advancing women in developing regions. She is an alum of the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Education Program, has a certificate in Public Policy Analysis from London School of Economics and holds an MBA from the Warwick Business School as well as a Bachelor in Science from the University of Ghana . She speaks 4 languages.

  • Bert Klaassens
    Bert Klaassens
    Senior Enforcement Officer, ACM

    Bert Klaassens is an economist with the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM), a merger organisation of the Dutch telecommunications regulator (OPTA), the Netherlands Competition Authority (NMa) and the Consumer Authority (CA). He has over 20 years of working experience in the public sector, mostly with telecommunication regulation, but also in merger assessments. Bert has been active for BEREC for over 13 years in various working groups and steering committees as rapporteur or expert. As co-chair of the Planning and Future Trends Working Group Bert has been responsible for BEREC’s the 5G radar and other publications on 5G. The PFT group is BEREC’s strategic working group and besides BEREC Work Programme and the Strategy it deals with new topics, like AI, 5G and international and institutional cooperation. Bert is also part of ACM’s international team and supporting Annemarie Sipkes as BEREC Chair 2022.

  • Ernest Worthman
    Ernest Worthman
    Executive Editor, AGL's Applied Wireless Technology

    Ernest Worthman is a Senior Member of the IEEE, the Executive Editor of AGL’s Applied Wireless Technology, staff editor of AGL’s eDigest. Other credentials include being the Editor of the IEEE regional newsletter, Adjunct Professor, Colorado State University College of Engineering, the Vice-Chair, of the Denver IEEE ComSoc Chapter, a technical advisor for the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) Standards Development Committee, and former Technology Editor of Semiconductor Engineering’s IoX and security channels. He has been the editor of several other high-tech publications over the years as well.

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