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Alcatel and Maplecroft partner to launch a global map of digital inclusion


WEBWIRE

Paris, November 9, 2005 - On the occasion of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis (16-18 November 2005), Alcatel (CGEP: PA and NYSE: ALA), a worldwide leader in telecommunication solutions and Maplecroft, a consultant company specialized in corporate responsibility, launch a global map about access to information and communication technologies (ICT). This map explores the role of ICTs as an enabler of social and economic development, in particular how ITC’s might contribute to the UN Millennium Development Goals.

The global map of digital inclusion 2005 forms part of the Maplecroft ’Global maps’ series - a vast resource of data and analysis covering 30 sustainable development issues - and areas of risk and opportunity for business.

Alcatel is committed to meet the challenge of the digital bridge. This map supports the company’s objective to promote digital inclusion through ICT’s, both in developing nations and in isolated regions/communities in developed countries. As a telecom reference in the emerging world, Alcatel proposes innovative solutions, based on clearly identified local needs, that combine technologies, services and financing through partnerships with domestic players. Access to mobile telephony services as well as broadband Internet services, through best in class quality and most competitive costs, are the pillars of Alcatel strategy in the emerging world.

About this map
This map, produced by Alcatel and Maplecroft, features 178 countries colored according to one of four distinct levels of digital access - as presented in the Digital Access Index of the ITU. The map also describes the win-win benefits of engagement in facilitating digital inclusion and how companies can work in partnership with other stakeholders to achieve greater levels of digital access for all segments of society. Spotlights on company engagement in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Oceania, Europe, are presented alongside case studies that highlight the wide range of benefits and opportunities for all stakeholders involved.

Hard copies of the map are available on request. Interactive version available at http://alcatel.maplecroft.com/digital and http://maps.maplecroft.net/digital.

1 - Access to ICTs as a development tool is becoming a major political, economic and social imperative. Universal access to information and ICTs forms Target 18 of the UN Millennium Development Goals.
2 - The DAI was reproduced with kind permission of the International Telecommunications Union.

About the digital divide
Much of today’s information is accessible on the Internet and other electronic forms through ICTs. For many people however, access to electronic information is difficult or even impossible - leaving them excluded from opportunities to access global markets and information resources. This lack of access creates what is commonly referred to as the ’digital divide’.
This ’divide’ threatens economic growth and social development and mostly affects marginalized people with reduced access to ICTs due to a lack of capacity, finances or infrastructures. Overcoming this divide through digital inclusion is mostly about enabling social inclusion - using ICT as a vehicle to improve skills, enhance quality of life, drive education and promote economic wellbeing for all of society.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has convened a two-part Summit (WSIS) to achieve this goal: the first part took place in Geneva 2003; the second part takes place in Tunis, 16-18 November 2005.
Information about Alcatel’s contribution to WSIS is available at http://www.alcatel.com/wsis

About Maplecroft
Maplecroft is a network of academics and practitioners operating as specialist consultants in the field of corporate responsibility. As a network we combine strengths to research, advise, coach and facilitate change in organizations - in order to aid the assessment, management and reporting of performance in social, political, environmental and economic dimensions. We specialize in multi-stakeholder approaches to understanding corporate responsibility and sustainable development. The ’Global maps’ series is a unique awareness-raising and management tool, providing a framework for monitoring and analyzing a wide range of complex issues that impact on society and the goals of business. It includes both hard copy and interactive web-based maps, including HIV/AIDS, human rights, corruption, hunger, poverty, displacement, hunger, political risk, conflict risk, child rights, natural disasters, climate change and water. For further information visit http://maps.maplecroft.net



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