updated 5/10/2010 11:03:17 AM ET 2010-05-10T15:03:17

The International Telecommunication Union has set up a group headed by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim and Rwandan President Paul Kagame to help more countries get access to broadband connections.

The ITU says the group of 30 business and social leaders will work out strategies on how to achieve worldwide coverage of broadband networks and how to use them for health care services, education and environmental management.

The agency said Monday that governments should consider the high-speed networks as basic infrastructure.

Broadband access has increased in particular for mobile phones in recent years. The ITU said it expects the number of mobile broadband subscriptions worldwide to exceed 1 billion this year.

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