The International Telecommunications Union has admitted the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation (CTO) as a member of the ITU's standardization body, a move that may ultimately help expand use and set policy for information and communications technology in developing markets, officials said.
As a member of the ITU's so-called Standardization Sector, or ITU-T, CTO nations will expand their working relationship with the global telecom body, which recently has helped implement child online protection strictures in some Commonwealth African states.
Membership in ITU-T will also serve as an avenue for CTO members to interact with the ITU's Development Sector, or ITU-D.
The CTO promotes ICT development in the organization's 54 member countries, formerly part of the British empire.
Admission to the ITU-T will help CTO countries in a variety of ways, according CTO Secretary General Tim Unwin.
"I am particularly delighted that the CTO has become a member of ITU-T as well as ITU-D," Unwin said via email. "ITU-T has a global role to play in developing the international standards that define the world's ICT infrastructure. Representing a subset of 54 countries drawn from every continent, the CTO can play a huge role in helping reach consensus among members with respect to these standards."
The CTO will work to reduce the so-called Standardization Gap -- disparities in the ability of developing countries, relative to developed ones, to access, implement, contribute to and influence international ICT standards, according to the ITU website. It will also help define standards capacity in the developing world, developing case studies of national standards capability and guidelines to help developing countries participate in ITU-T standardization work, the ITU said.