Speaker 1: Robert Pepper, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 2: Lillian Nalwoga, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: Bignon Franck KOUYAMI, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 4: Anulekha Nandi, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group
Round Table - Circle - 60 Min
How can policymakers and decision-makers consider and adopt policy approaches most likely to increase the development of broadband infrastructure and services in underserved rural areas?
This session will address the following policy challenges and opportunities: access, affordability, digital divide (geographical), and meaningful connectivity.
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
Today, half of the global population still remains offline. The reality of the geographic divide is bleak: most of those offline are from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and rural populations in LMICs are 40% less likely to use mobile internet than urban populations In order to achieve the universal goals for reducing inequality and achieving universal access by 2030, clear policies that can guide and speed up progress are crucial. The purpose of this session is to explore policy approaches that would help address the persistent digital divide and bring more affordable access and meaningful connectivity for people living in rural areas. The session will take a roundtable format, with six confirmed subject matter experts from the private sector, governments, and civil society from across the globe providing examples of how they are coordinating efforts to bring last-mile connectivity in rural areas (many of which have been highlighted in the "Rural Broadband Policy Framework" brief, https://a4ai.org/rural-broadband-policy-framework). We will then have an open interactive discussion and invite participants in the room to share what policy interventions or solutions they know that have worked/or have not worked in expanding rural broadband connectivity. The roundtable will be facilitated by the moderator of the session, the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI).
The discussion points raised during the session will be summarized and produced into a brief that will be shared as a publically available resource on A4AI’s site on Rural Broadband Policy Framework (https://a4ai.org/rural-broadband-policy-framework/).
We will then have an open interactive discussion and invite participants in the room to share what policy interventions or solutions they know that have worked/or have not worked in expanding rural broadband connectivity.
Relevance to Internet Governance: This session relates to Internet Governance because achieving and improving rural broadband connectivity requires a multi-stakeholder approach, involving all sectors to actively participate to close the digital inequality that persists. The rural digital divide is also a global issue that is experienced in all countries, further needing to address it at a global fora like the IGF.
Relevance to Theme: This session will contribute to the Inclusion track because it will address how to ensure those that do not get affordable access to the internet in rural areas get online. Specifically, the session will cover the issues of: access, affordability, digital divide (geographical), and meaningful connectivity.
Usage of IGF Official Tool.