IGF 2023 WS #560 Space-Based Broadband: Unlocking Global Connectivity


Digital Divides & Inclusion
Affordable Access

Organizer 1: Samantha Torrance, Access Partnership
Organizer 2: Gokhan Tok, Access Partnership
Organizer 3: Ethan Mudavanhu, Access Partnership
Organizer 4: Paula Rabacov, Access Partnership

Speaker 1: Paul Colmer , Private Sector, African Group
Speaker 2: Vandenbroucke Ann, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Pamela Gidi, Private Sector, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)


Gokhan Tok, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Paula Rabacov, Private Sector, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)


Ethan Mudavanhu, Private Sector, African Group


Round Table - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

1. What are the key challenges and opportunities for developing nations, in particular least developed countries and small island developing states associated with innovative LEO satellite constellations delivering space-based internet?
2. How can international, regional, and national policies and regulations ensure equitable access and close the digital divide with space-based internet services for least developed countries and small island developing states?
3. How can indigenous communities and vulnerable groups participate in the governance of space-based broadband to ensure the potential for addressing digital divides and lack of inclusion are realised, and any obstacles to achieving this are removed?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Participants will gain valuable insights (from public and private sector actors and NGOs) into the technical, regulatory, and socio-economic aspects of space-based broadband, and explore how it can revolutionize global connectivity, empower underserved communities, and spur innovation in various sectors. The session will develop a set of recommendations that will be derived from the contributions of speakers and the attendees focusing on an enabling an inclusive space-based broadband governance framework.


With increasing demand for meaningful connectivity worldwide, the session will explore the potential of innovative space-based broadband in bridging the connectivity gap and unlocking new opportunities for marginalised communities. The session will introduce and discuss how global governance of Low Earth Orbit (‘LEO’) satellite constellations can be designed to enable digital inclusion particularly for least developed countries and small island developing states. The participants will discuss current regulatory hurdles preventing communities and disadvantaged groups from benefiting from this functionality, and how the global community can overcome the challenges of creating global connectivity infrastructure using space-based broadband. Finally, the session will explore the possibility of an interplanetary system of internet infrastructure and how it would affect digital inclusion in the long run.

Expected Outcomes

Organisers will develop a report addressing policy gaps in the provision of space-based broadband with recommendations aiming to increase multistakeholder participation, equitable access to scarce resources and ensuring the digital inclusion for all based on the discussions.

Hybrid Format: The session will begin with brief interventions from speakers, addressing the questions. Following this, the floor will open for roundtable debate. The moderator will encourage tangible recommendations, focusing on digital divide issues from a developing country perspective.
The online moderator will encourage engagement through live chat sessions, including those with limited internet access. A pre-session chat room will foster active discussions among participants and speakers. Speakers will address unanswered questions and comments in the chat, considering time constraints.
Utilizing our established global communication and marketing platform, we will target potential participants through email marketing and social media campaigns. Our previous online and hybrid events have attracted 250 to 500 participants, showcasing our ability to effectively engage audiences. Leveraging our 11,000 LinkedIn followers, we aim to maximize reach and engagement. Twitter will also be utilized with strategic hashtags and timely tweets to expand our audience.