Saudi Arabia working on “huge program” to extend broadband: official
Saudi Arabia is currently working on a “huge program” to extend broadband to all homes by 2025, said Fahad Al Mubarak, ex-Governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA).
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has invested heavily in digital infrastructure – and what we see in the country is phenomenal,” he said, speaking at a panel discussion at the World Government Summit (WGS) in Dubai. “The mobile penetration in the kingdom is 132 percent, nearly 83 percent of the population is internet users, we have 100 percent coverage in all villages and we have a huge program to expand broadband to all homes by 2025. The importance of digital infrastructure in reducing cost and improving productivity cannot be understated.”
As part of the deliberations that followed, Al Mubarak sounded a warning note on the consequences of digitalization.
Enhanced emphasis on a digital economy could lead to people becoming redundant in the long-run, he said, adding that it is vital that countries reskill people in other vocations and safety nets be developed so that the youth of tomorrow are not overexposed or made irrelevant as a result of digitalization.