Telecommunications/ICT Development Activities, Priorities and Policies To Connect the Unconnected Worldwide in Light of the 2021 International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-21), 24391-24393 [2021-09581]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 86 / Thursday, May 6, 2021 / Notices States Code; and developing and implementing the integrated strategy under 51 U.S.C. 60601(c), including subsequent updates and reevaluations. The SWAG shall also conduct a comprehensive survey of the needs of space weather products users to identify the space weather research, observations, forecasting, prediction, and modeling advances required to improve space weather products, as required by 51 U.S.C. 60601(d)(3). khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES II. Structure The SWAG shall consist of not more than 15 members, including a chair, of whom: Five members shall be representatives of the academic community; five members shall be representatives of the commercial space weather sector; and five members shall be nongovernmental representatives of the space weather end-user community. Members will be chosen to provide an appropriate range of views that represent the span of the space weather community and end-user sectors. Members shall serve in a representative capacity; they are, therefore, not Special Government Employees. As such, members are not subject to the ethics rules applicable to Government employees, except that they must not misuse Government resources or their affiliation with the Committee for personal purposes. All members of the SWAG will be appointed by the interagency working group for a 3-year term, with one member appointed by NOAA as the Chair. Members may not serve on the SWAG for more than two consecutive terms. A member of the SWAG may not serve as the Chair of the SWAG for more than two terms, regardless of whether the terms are consecutive. The SWAG will meet approximately three times each year, which may be conducted in person or by teleconference, webinar, or other means. Additional meetings may be called as appropriate, with approval by the Administrator of NOAA. Members are reimbursed for actual and reasonable travel and other per diem expenses incurred in performing such duties but will not be reimbursed for their time. As a Federal Advisory Committee, the SWAG’s membership is required to be balanced in terms of viewpoints represented and the functions to be performed, as well as appointments shall be made without discrimination on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or cultural, religious, or socioeconomic status. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:49 May 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 III. Nominations Interested persons may nominate themselves or third parties. An application is required to be considered for SWAG membership, regardless of whether a person is nominated by a third party or self-nominated. The application package must include: (1) The nominee’s full name, title, institutional affiliation, and contact information; (2) identification of the nominee’s area(s) of industry perspective—academia, commercial service provider, or end-user; (3) a short description of his/her qualifications relative to the kinds of advice being solicited by NOAA in this Notice; and (4) a current resume (maximum length four [4] pages). All nomination information should be provided in a single, complete package, and should be sent to the DFO of the SWAG at the electronic address provided above. Dated: April 30, 2021. Benjamin Friedman, Deputy Under Secretary for Operations Performing the Duties of Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. [FR Doc. 2021–09530 Filed 5–5–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–KE–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration [Docket No. 210503–0097] RIN 0660–XC050 Telecommunications/ICT Development Activities, Priorities and Policies To Connect the Unconnected Worldwide in Light of the 2021 International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC–21) National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice, request for public comment. AGENCY: As the United States prepares for the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC–2021) scheduled for November 8–19, 2021, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration is working closely with the U.S. Department of State, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), other federal agencies, and members of the U.S. private sector. The SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00014 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24391 WTDC–2021 will set the priorities and activities for the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector in areas such as connectivity and digital inclusion. Through this Notice, NTIA is seeking public comments regarding activities, priorities, and policies that advance telecommunications and information and communications technology (ICT) development worldwide to assist the U.S. government in the development of its position for the conference. DATES: Comments are due on or before June 7, 2021. ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted by mail to the Office of International Affairs (OIA), National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 4701, Washington, DC 20230. Written comments may also be submitted electronically to WTDC21@ ntia.gov. Please submit electronic comments, either in Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF, using a text searchable format. NTIA will post comments to the NTIA website at https:// www.ntia.doc.gov/federal-registernotice/2021/request-commentsconnecting-unconnected-worldwidewtdc-21. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Diane Steinour, Office of International Affairs, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW, Room 4701, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482–3180; email: dsteinour@ntia.gov. Please direct media inquiries to NTIA’s Office of Public Affairs at (202) 482– 7002 or press@ntia.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC–21 or Conference), whose theme is ‘‘Connecting the Unconnected to Achieve Sustainable Development,’’ is scheduled for November 8–19, 2021, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The WTDC–2021 is a quadrennial conference that will bring together the ITU’s 193 Member States and private sector organizations (sector members) that participate in the Development Sector of the ITU (ITU–D). As the United States prepares for the WTDC–21, NTIA is working closely with the U.S. Department of State, which is leading and coordinating the WTDC–21 preparatory process for the United States, along with several Executive Branch agencies, the FCC and members of the U.S. private sector. The Conference will set the priorities and E:\FR\FM\06MYN1.SGM 06MYN1 24392 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 86 / Thursday, May 6, 2021 / Notices khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES activities for the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector in areas such as connectivity and digital inclusion. To inform the development of the U.S. government’s priorities and position for the Conference, NTIA is seeking comments and recommendations on activities, priorities, and policies that advance telecommunications and information and communications technology (ICT) development worldwide.1 In general, the U.S. government’s goal is to strengthen open, inclusive, and secure digital ecosystems as nations work towards universal connectivity. Additionally, the U.S. government seeks to leverage private sector collaboration to strengthen local capacity, create improved outcomes for development and humanitarian assistance, encourage adoption of U.S. values, ensure adherence to internationally recognized standards, improve cybersecurity, and foster open markets to close the global digital divide. We seek to reach the U.S. telecommunication/ICT stakeholder community and expand this community with new connectivity stakeholders in order to obtain a diverse range of views and increase recognition about the positive contributions U.S. entities are making to connect the unconnected and increase digital inclusion. We welcome views, studies, reports and references to development projects and engagements that could bolster and help facilitate future partnerships and collaborative endeavors towards telecommunications/ ICT development. The COVID–19 global health emergency has underscored the need for greater connectivity around the globe to meet the challenges of daily life. Only 51 percent of the world’s population is online, leaving nearly four billion people unable to connect to the internet. The United Nations (UN) estimates that it will cost $428 billion to connect the unconnected by 2030. As we learn lessons from unserved and underserved communities in the United States and in other countries and regions, we seek greater stakeholder engagement, input 1 NTIA is the President’s principal adviser on telecommunications policy. See 47 U.S.C. 902(b)(2)(D). NTIA also develops and sets forth, in coordination with the Secretary of State and other interested agencies, plans, policies, and programs which relate to international telecommunications issues, conferences, and negotiations; coordinates economic, technical, operational, and related preparations for United States participation in international telecommunications conferences and negotiations; and provides advice and assistance to the Secretary of State on international telecommunications policies to strengthen the position and serve the best interests of the United States in support of the Secretary of State’s responsibility for the conduct of foreign affairs. See 47 U.S.C. 902(b)(2)(G). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:49 May 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 and advice: what works, what does not, and what lessons have been learned to help address affordable access to and uptake of telecommunications and ICT products and services worldwide. NTIA is seeking to foster more active United States participation and leadership by stakeholders in the ITU. U.S. citizen Doreen Bogdan-Martin serves as the current Telecommunication Development Bureau Director and is the first female elected to the ITU leadership team. She is seeking to widen the communities of interest represented in ITU–D activities to help lead to more concrete results and outcomes in project and capacity building implementation. WTDC–21 will launch a four-year work program in 2022–25 for ITU–D, during which it will set out its priorities for development assistance, regional office capacity building, and study areas along thematic priorities. The U.S. government’s objectives for the WTDC and ITU–D include advancing U.S. efforts to: —Improve global ICT connectivity and affordability to reach everyone —Improve digital skills acquisition —Reduce the global digital divide and promote inclusion, with a focus on women and girls and students, as drivers for adoption, especially in developing countries —Demonstrate U.S. leadership in connecting the unconnected nationally, regionally, and globally —Promote policies that spur competition, investment, and innovation —Promote ITU–D’s focus on capacity building, enabling policy environments to foster adoption of new technologies, and promote new business models and forms of partnership to connect the unconnected with affordable broadband services —Leverage the WTDC–21 to kick-start new ICT development partnerships worldwide that produce sustainable and effective solutions —Increase the value proposition for stakeholders, especially from the Americas region, to engage in ITU– D activities —Strengthen our interactions with both developed and developing countries to accomplish shared ICT objectives. This Notice and Request for Public Comment is the public’s opportunity to: (1) Provide input to NTIA on the public’s interest in general global telecommunications and ICT policy and development activities and priorities, (2) assist the U.S. delegation to the PO 00000 Frm 00015 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 WTDC as it prepares for the Conference, and (3) inform future U.S. telecommunications and ICT development goals and priorities including engagement with the ITU Development Sector on capacity building activities. NTIA seeks comments and supporting materials regarding the objectives listed above as well as proposals on U.S. policies and goals about telecommunications and ICT development activities. Comments are welcome from all interested stakeholders including the private sector, the technical community, academia, government, civil society, and individuals. The comments will help NTIA and the U.S. government leverage and prioritize resources and policy expertise most effectively. Please address any of the following topics in any submission: 1. ICT Development Priorities a. Over the next five years, what should the U.S. government priorities be for telecommunications/ICT development? b. Are there particular areas of focus for economic development, as well as telecommunications/ICT development that might help the United States align with developing countries’ development interests? c. What are valuable venues, forums, or methods to focus this work? 2. U.S. Stakeholder Community a. In General i. What are the challenges or barriers towards connecting the unconnected? Are there particular lessons or policy approaches regarding the gender digital divide? ii. What types of activities or projects have been most successful in building capacities of developing countries towards increasing telecommunications/ ICT development and inclusion? iii. How can virtual platforms increase capacity building, especially since COVID–19 began? iv. How best can the U.S. government share its experiences and best practices on telecommunications/ICT deployment overcoming the digital divide, and other telecommunications/ICT developmental topics? In 2021? Longer term? v. What interest or experience, if any, should the U.S. government be aware of entities participating in telecommunications/ICT projects, capacity-building efforts, and/or donation of ICT products and services globally and/or particularly those focused on meeting developing country needs? vi. What types of financing or other partnership mechanisms, including E:\FR\FM\06MYN1.SGM 06MYN1 Federal Register / Vol. 86, No. 86 / Thursday, May 6, 2021 / Notices particular organizations or venues, may help advance global ICT development? vii. What are some structured corporate social responsibility, goodwill programs, or corporate partnership programs that may be useful resources? viii. What are some foundations or financial institutions or non-profits that can share donor experiences and best practices to encourage investment in underserved and unserved areas (domestically or internationally)? b. For the ITU and WTDC–21 i. How might virtual platforms enhance the development and capacity building work of the ITU Bureau of Telecommunication Development (BDT) and ITU–D study groups, including U.S. participation, in a post-COVID–19 environment? Are other methods available or appropriate? ii. How should we best engage U.S. stakeholders and ascertain their input before, during, and after the WTDC–21 (and on an ongoing basis)? iii. BDT is seeking to ensure that WTDC–21 is a development-focused conference that mobilizes people and resources to ‘‘Connect the Unconnected to Achieve Sustainable Development’’ including thematic dialogues, a youth summit, and other events to bring stakeholders together to consider key telecommunications/ICT development topics. How can the U.S. government increase awareness or participation in WTDC–21 in order to help ensure concrete outcomes? sector organizations, and stakeholders for WTDC–2021. Instructions for Commenters Commenters are encouraged to address any or all of the questions in this RFC. Comments that contain references to studies, research, and other empirical data that are not widely published should include copies of the referenced materials with the submitted comments. Comments submitted by email should be machine-readable and should not be copy-protected. Comments submitted by mail may be in hard copy (paper) or electronic (on CD– ROM or disk). Commenters should include the name of the person or organization filing the comment, as well as a page number on each page of their submissions. All comments received are a part of the public record and generally will be posted on the NTIA website, https:// www.ntia.gov, without change. All personal identifying information (for example, name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. Dated: May 3, 2021. Kathy Smith, Chief Counsel, National Telecommunications and Information Administration. [FR Doc. 2021–09581 Filed 5–5–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–60–P 3. WTDC–21 a. What WTDC–21 outcomes would best help achieve the Conference’s goal to connect the unconnected and to help raise awareness and mobilize resources to close the digital divide? b. What development projects, ideas, and activities might be useful for the U.S. government to advance through the ITU Development Sector? c. What ITU–D accomplishments should the U.S. government encourage the ITU seek to replicate? khammond on DSKJM1Z7X2PROD with NOTICES [Docket No: CFPB–2021–0009] Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Approval of Information Collection Requirements Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) is announcing Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval of new information collection requirements contained in an interim final rule published in the Federal Register on April 22, 2021, ‘‘Debt Collection Practices in Connection with the Global COVID–19 Pandemic (Regulation F).’’ See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for additional information about this OMB approval. SUMMARY: 4. Other a. Are there other telecommunications/ICT development matters that stakeholders want to raise with the U.S. government (unrelated to the ITU or UN)? Request for Public Comment In addition to the questions above, NTIA invites comment on the full range of issues that may be presented by this inquiry. We also welcome input and comments on any specific issues being advanced by other countries, private VerDate Sep<11>2014 BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION 16:49 May 05, 2021 Jkt 253001 PO 00000 Frm 00016 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 24393 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Documentation prepared in support of this information collection request is available at www.regulations.gov. Requests for additional information should be directed to Suzan Muslu, Data Governance Program Manager, at (202) 435–9267, or email: CFPB_PRA@ cfpb.gov. If you require this document in an alternative electronic format, please contact CFPB_Accessibility@ cfpb.gov. Please do not submit comments to this mailbox. Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) the Bureau may not conduct or sponsor, and, notwithstanding any other provision of law, a respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. On April 22, 2021, the Bureau published an interim final rule in the Federal Register titled ‘‘Debt Collection Practices in Connection with the Global COVID–19 Pandemic (Regulation F)’’ to amend Regulation F, which implements the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The interim final rule addresses certain debt collector conduct associated with an eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in response to the global COVID–19 pandemic. The amendments prohibit debt collectors from taking certain covered eviction actions unless the debt collectors provide written notice to certain consumers of their protections under the CDC temporary eviction moratorium and prohibit misrepresentations about consumers’ ineligibility for protection under such moratorium. This moratorium is in place now and currently set to expire at the end of June. Pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.13, the Bureau submitted a request for emergency approval of these information collection on April 22, 2021, and OMB approved this ICR on April 30, 2021 and assigned it OMB Control Number 3170–0074. Therefore, in accordance with the PRA and 5 CFR 1320.11(k), the Bureau hereby announces OMB approval of the information collection requirements as contained in the subject interim final rule which is effective May 3, 2021. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Dated: April 30, 2021. Suzan Muslu, Data Governance Program Manager, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection. [FR Doc. 2021–09533 Filed 5–5–21; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810–AM–P E:\FR\FM\06MYN1.SGM 06MYN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 86 (Thursday, May 6, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 24391-24393]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-09581]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

[Docket No. 210503-0097]
RIN 0660-XC050


Telecommunications/ICT Development Activities, Priorities and 
Policies To Connect the Unconnected Worldwide in Light of the 2021 
International Telecommunication Union (ITU) World Telecommunication 
Development Conference (WTDC-21)

AGENCY: National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 
U.S. Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice, request for public comment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: As the United States prepares for the International 
Telecommunication Union's (ITU) World Telecommunication Development 
Conference (WTDC-2021) scheduled for November 8-19, 2021, in Addis 
Ababa, Ethiopia, the National Telecommunications and Information 
Administration is working closely with the U.S. Department of State, 
the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), other federal agencies, 
and members of the U.S. private sector. The WTDC-2021 will set the 
priorities and activities for the ITU Telecommunication Development 
Sector in areas such as connectivity and digital inclusion. Through 
this Notice, NTIA is seeking public comments regarding activities, 
priorities, and policies that advance telecommunications and 
information and communications technology (ICT) development worldwide 
to assist the U.S. government in the development of its position for 
the conference.

DATES: Comments are due on or before June 7, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted by mail to the Office of 
International Affairs (OIA), National Telecommunications and 
Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 
Constitution Avenue NW, Room 4701, Washington, DC 20230. Written 
comments may also be submitted electronically to [email protected]. 
Please submit electronic comments, either in Microsoft Word or Adobe 
PDF, using a text searchable format. NTIA will post comments to the 
NTIA website at https://www.ntia.doc.gov/federal-register-notice/2021/request-comments-connecting-unconnected-worldwide-wtdc-21.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Diane Steinour, Office of 
International Affairs, National Telecommunications and Information 
Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue 
NW, Room 4701, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-3180; email: 
[email protected]. Please direct media inquiries to NTIA's Office of 
Public Affairs at (202) 482-7002 or [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The International Telecommunication Union's 
(ITU) World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-21 or 
Conference), whose theme is ``Connecting the Unconnected to Achieve 
Sustainable Development,'' is scheduled for November 8-19, 2021, in 
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The WTDC-2021 is a quadrennial conference that 
will bring together the ITU's 193 Member States and private sector 
organizations (sector members) that participate in the Development 
Sector of the ITU (ITU-D). As the United States prepares for the WTDC-
21, NTIA is working closely with the U.S. Department of State, which is 
leading and coordinating the WTDC-21 preparatory process for the United 
States, along with several Executive Branch agencies, the FCC and 
members of the U.S. private sector. The Conference will set the 
priorities and

[[Page 24392]]

activities for the ITU Telecommunication Development Sector in areas 
such as connectivity and digital inclusion. To inform the development 
of the U.S. government's priorities and position for the Conference, 
NTIA is seeking comments and recommendations on activities, priorities, 
and policies that advance telecommunications and information and 
communications technology (ICT) development worldwide.\1\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ NTIA is the President's principal adviser on 
telecommunications policy. See 47 U.S.C. 902(b)(2)(D). NTIA also 
develops and sets forth, in coordination with the Secretary of State 
and other interested agencies, plans, policies, and programs which 
relate to international telecommunications issues, conferences, and 
negotiations; coordinates economic, technical, operational, and 
related preparations for United States participation in 
international telecommunications conferences and negotiations; and 
provides advice and assistance to the Secretary of State on 
international telecommunications policies to strengthen the position 
and serve the best interests of the United States in support of the 
Secretary of State's responsibility for the conduct of foreign 
affairs. See 47 U.S.C. 902(b)(2)(G).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In general, the U.S. government's goal is to strengthen open, 
inclusive, and secure digital ecosystems as nations work towards 
universal connectivity. Additionally, the U.S. government seeks to 
leverage private sector collaboration to strengthen local capacity, 
create improved outcomes for development and humanitarian assistance, 
encourage adoption of U.S. values, ensure adherence to internationally 
recognized standards, improve cybersecurity, and foster open markets to 
close the global digital divide. We seek to reach the U.S. 
telecommunication/ICT stakeholder community and expand this community 
with new connectivity stakeholders in order to obtain a diverse range 
of views and increase recognition about the positive contributions U.S. 
entities are making to connect the unconnected and increase digital 
inclusion. We welcome views, studies, reports and references to 
development projects and engagements that could bolster and help 
facilitate future partnerships and collaborative endeavors towards 
telecommunications/ICT development.
    The COVID-19 global health emergency has underscored the need for 
greater connectivity around the globe to meet the challenges of daily 
life. Only 51 percent of the world's population is online, leaving 
nearly four billion people unable to connect to the internet. The 
United Nations (UN) estimates that it will cost $428 billion to connect 
the unconnected by 2030. As we learn lessons from unserved and 
underserved communities in the United States and in other countries and 
regions, we seek greater stakeholder engagement, input and advice: what 
works, what does not, and what lessons have been learned to help 
address affordable access to and uptake of telecommunications and ICT 
products and services worldwide.
    NTIA is seeking to foster more active United States participation 
and leadership by stakeholders in the ITU. U.S. citizen Doreen Bogdan-
Martin serves as the current Telecommunication Development Bureau 
Director and is the first female elected to the ITU leadership team. 
She is seeking to widen the communities of interest represented in ITU-
D activities to help lead to more concrete results and outcomes in 
project and capacity building implementation. WTDC-21 will launch a 
four-year work program in 2022-25 for ITU-D, during which it will set 
out its priorities for development assistance, regional office capacity 
building, and study areas along thematic priorities.
    The U.S. government's objectives for the WTDC and ITU-D include 
advancing U.S. efforts to:

--Improve global ICT connectivity and affordability to reach everyone
--Improve digital skills acquisition
--Reduce the global digital divide and promote inclusion, with a focus 
on women and girls and students, as drivers for adoption, especially in 
developing countries
--Demonstrate U.S. leadership in connecting the unconnected nationally, 
regionally, and globally
--Promote policies that spur competition, investment, and innovation
--Promote ITU-D's focus on capacity building, enabling policy 
environments to foster adoption of new technologies, and promote new 
business models and forms of partnership to connect the unconnected 
with affordable broadband services
--Leverage the WTDC-21 to kick-start new ICT development partnerships 
worldwide that produce sustainable and effective solutions
--Increase the value proposition for stakeholders, especially from the 
Americas region, to engage in ITU-D activities
--Strengthen our interactions with both developed and developing 
countries to accomplish shared ICT objectives.

    This Notice and Request for Public Comment is the public's 
opportunity to: (1) Provide input to NTIA on the public's interest in 
general global telecommunications and ICT policy and development 
activities and priorities, (2) assist the U.S. delegation to the WTDC 
as it prepares for the Conference, and (3) inform future U.S. 
telecommunications and ICT development goals and priorities including 
engagement with the ITU Development Sector on capacity building 
activities. NTIA seeks comments and supporting materials regarding the 
objectives listed above as well as proposals on U.S. policies and goals 
about telecommunications and ICT development activities. Comments are 
welcome from all interested stakeholders including the private sector, 
the technical community, academia, government, civil society, and 
individuals. The comments will help NTIA and the U.S. government 
leverage and prioritize resources and policy expertise most 
effectively.
    Please address any of the following topics in any submission:

1. ICT Development Priorities

    a. Over the next five years, what should the U.S. government 
priorities be for telecommunications/ICT development?
    b. Are there particular areas of focus for economic development, as 
well as telecommunications/ICT development that might help the United 
States align with developing countries' development interests?
    c. What are valuable venues, forums, or methods to focus this work?

2. U.S. Stakeholder Community

a. In General

    i. What are the challenges or barriers towards connecting the 
unconnected? Are there particular lessons or policy approaches 
regarding the gender digital divide?
    ii. What types of activities or projects have been most successful 
in building capacities of developing countries towards increasing 
telecommunications/ICT development and inclusion?
    iii. How can virtual platforms increase capacity building, 
especially since COVID-19 began?
    iv. How best can the U.S. government share its experiences and best 
practices on telecommunications/ICT deployment overcoming the digital 
divide, and other telecommunications/ICT developmental topics? In 2021? 
Longer term?
    v. What interest or experience, if any, should the U.S. government 
be aware of entities participating in telecommunications/ICT projects, 
capacity-building efforts, and/or donation of ICT products and services 
globally and/or particularly those focused on meeting developing 
country needs?
    vi. What types of financing or other partnership mechanisms, 
including

[[Page 24393]]

particular organizations or venues, may help advance global ICT 
development?
    vii. What are some structured corporate social responsibility, 
goodwill programs, or corporate partnership programs that may be useful 
resources?
    viii. What are some foundations or financial institutions or non-
profits that can share donor experiences and best practices to 
encourage investment in underserved and unserved areas (domestically or 
internationally)?

b. For the ITU and WTDC-21

    i. How might virtual platforms enhance the development and capacity 
building work of the ITU Bureau of Telecommunication Development (BDT) 
and ITU-D study groups, including U.S. participation, in a post-COVID-
19 environment? Are other methods available or appropriate?
    ii. How should we best engage U.S. stakeholders and ascertain their 
input before, during, and after the WTDC-21 (and on an ongoing basis)?
    iii. BDT is seeking to ensure that WTDC-21 is a development-focused 
conference that mobilizes people and resources to ``Connect the 
Unconnected to Achieve Sustainable Development'' including thematic 
dialogues, a youth summit, and other events to bring stakeholders 
together to consider key telecommunications/ICT development topics. How 
can the U.S. government increase awareness or participation in WTDC-21 
in order to help ensure concrete outcomes?

3. WTDC-21

    a. What WTDC-21 outcomes would best help achieve the Conference's 
goal to connect the unconnected and to help raise awareness and 
mobilize resources to close the digital divide?
    b. What development projects, ideas, and activities might be useful 
for the U.S. government to advance through the ITU Development Sector?
    c. What ITU-D accomplishments should the U.S. government encourage 
the ITU seek to replicate?

4. Other

    a. Are there other telecommunications/ICT development matters that 
stakeholders want to raise with the U.S. government (unrelated to the 
ITU or UN)?

Request for Public Comment

    In addition to the questions above, NTIA invites comment on the 
full range of issues that may be presented by this inquiry. We also 
welcome input and comments on any specific issues being advanced by 
other countries, private sector organizations, and stakeholders for 
WTDC-2021.

Instructions for Commenters

    Commenters are encouraged to address any or all of the questions in 
this RFC. Comments that contain references to studies, research, and 
other empirical data that are not widely published should include 
copies of the referenced materials with the submitted comments. 
Comments submitted by email should be machine-readable and should not 
be copy-protected. Comments submitted by mail may be in hard copy 
(paper) or electronic (on CD- ROM or disk).
    Commenters should include the name of the person or organization 
filing the comment, as well as a page number on each page of their 
submissions. All comments received are a part of the public record and 
generally will be posted on the NTIA website, https://www.ntia.gov, 
without change. All personal identifying information (for example, 
name, address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly 
accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or 
otherwise sensitive or protected information.

    Dated: May 3, 2021.
Kathy Smith,
Chief Counsel, National Telecommunications and Information 
Administration.
[FR Doc. 2021-09581 Filed 5-5-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-60-P