STATEMENT - CITEL TO FACE COVID-19

The Secretariat of the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission - CITEL-, specialized agency in Information Technology and Communications / Telecommunications - ICT - of the Organization of American States -OAS-, has joined the actions that the OAS has undertaken to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Likewise,we recognize the importance of ICT in this critical context and the work that the Member States and Associate Members are doing to reduce and control this pandemic, among which the following stand out:

1. Streamline actions to encourage the expansion of Internet coverage and other telecommunications services, especially in areas that do not have access: These actions include the agile granting of permits for the temporary use of spectrum and for the deployment of infrastructure in order to expand network coverage. As well as allowing the agile entry of telecommunications equipment through homologation and import processes.

2. Prioritize the connectivity of strategic points in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic: the prioritization of projects aimed at connecting strategic institutions such as hospitals, health centers and food collection centers, as well as key infrastructures such as ports, airports, highways, power plants and borders.

3. Promote actions to encourage rational use of the internet: These actions include strategies for the disclosure of rational Internet use habits and constant monitoring of the evolution of network traffic to determine additional actions aimed at guaranteeing the correct provision of the service. These actions are more effective with more actors involved.

4. Give priority to the tasks of support, operation, maintenance and deployment of additional capacity of telecommunications networks: This includes allowing the circulation of technical personnel in charge of networks and coordinated work with public service companies and other authorities to deal with possible interruptions in service.

5. Continue maintenance and surveillance of both physical and virtual telecommunications infrastructure: Prevent the infrastructure of telecommunications services from being intentionally compromised.

Therefore,given the importance of communications and with the aim of promoting debate, cooperation and regional coordination in the field of telecommunications that facilitate the fight against COVID-19, A space will be added on the CITEL website to share the actions that governments and companies are carrying out. In this way, best practices can be shared and citizens will be kept informed.

Finally,CITEL members are invited to share the information or links related to these actions to make them public on our portal, by email CITEL@oas.org