Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development Aims to Connect the World's 'Offline' Population

By SiliconIndia   |   Monday, 24 September 2018, 08:49 Hrs
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According to more than 60 participants from United Nations agencies who came together in New York at the Annual Fall Meeting of the United Nations Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, world’s ‘other half’ doesn’t have access to the Internet and pointed out the importance of broadband technology in connecting people around the globe.

Paul Kagame, Co-chair, Broadband Commission, says, “We are preparing to mark a new milestone where half of the world's people are accessing the Internet. While this growth is not spread evenly across the world's regions, it is nonetheless an encouraging development. With more people online, we need to think through how everyone can access the digital content safely and fairly. To take full advantage of the latest technological innovations, we have to adapt rapidly, including more innovative approaches to policy and regulation. The best way to handle this is through close collaboration among the key stakeholders, from government, the private sector, and the research community."

The meeting comprised of two sessions analyzing the 50/50 moment of half the world being online and the changing face of information and communication technologies. Prior to the meeting, the Commission issued the 2018 edition of its flagship, State of Broadband report on 11th September, this indicated the broadband network access and affordability of over 160 economies worldwide. On the bright side, more governments now benchmark broadband status in their national plans and at least 15 countries now made strategies for promoting the safe use of artificial intelligence.

Audrey Azoulay, Director- General, UNESCO, says, “We are reaching an important milestone with half of the population online. But advantages of internet access are not shared equally. Access to Internet is not enough in itself to improve livelihoods. We must put emphasis on digital skills and knowledge.”

Established in 2011, Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development aims at boosting the importance of broadband on the international policy agenda and expanding broadband access in every country as key to accelerating progress towards national and international development targets.

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