More people in the developing world are getting smart phones, and this technology is making a difference, not just in people's lives, but in making government more efficient, says Kenyan official Joe Mucheru.
"You know, we have got huge fights in terms of corruption, transparency, openness, and technology is really the vehicle we're using to ensure that you know whatever transactions are taking place, you can see them.They're digital."
But there are still parts of the world that are not connected.
"Obviously, we look at Africa, we look at Southeast Asia-there are large swaths…of these population that are not connected."
Once people start using smartphones, they talk less and use more data, making high-speed service a necessity, says Denis O'Brien, of the mobile phone company Digicel.But building the infrastructure is a challenge.
"Everybody's built the easy bit.In other words, they've done the towns and the cities, but going into rural communities-they haven't done it because the business case is very thin."
Experts say the private and public sectors need to come together to bring the internet to remote and developing regions, and drive economic growth.
“Any country that wants to create investment and be a location for investment to create employment, the first thing you need is broadband.”
Yet to those who see technology as solving everything, professor Kentaro Toyama notes, America's social problems did not end when digital innovation began decades ago.
"During that same span of time, this country has experienced rising inequality; the medium income has declined."
So a smartphone alone won't help poor people out of poverty, adds Toyama.
“They do have no phone, our people, for example, who are you know, physical laborers on farms, where it really doesn't make too much of a difference if you can have access to the latest agronomic research paper as a way to improve your farming."
But O'Brien says the opposite is true.
"Once you get broadband, you know, you can educate people.You can create jobs for people, and people from an agricultural point of view become much more efficient."
He also pointed to cultural differences in each country.Giving the Kenyan point of view, Mucheru said, "The internet is going to make a change.It is critical for people.I think the fact that maybe some of the people in the West haven't come out of poverty because they have not used their devices well is not the same for Africa."
Cisco's Romanski said it takes cooperation among private, government and nonprofit sectors to maximize the impact of technology.
"So it's going to take all the parties coming together to drive the right cultural shift and the right education into these countries so that the developing market can, over the long term, enjoy the benefits of economic growth," he said.
The experts agreed that positive change in a nation can happen if education about technology is combined with the right policies.