IGF 2023 WS #99 Advancing Universal Access: Rural,Multilingual Connectivity


Digital Divides & Inclusion
Affordable Access

Organizer 1: Nicolas Fiumarelli, 🔒Youth IGF Uruguay
Organizer 2: Joshua Ayayi, Youth Alliance on Sustainability
Organizer 3: Mohammad Ali Jauhar, 🔒University Paris-Saclay
Organizer 4: Nigel Hickson, 🔒DCMS

Speaker 1: Bia Barbosa, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Nigel Hickson, Government, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)
Speaker 3: Nicolás Echániz, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 4: Adarsh Basavapura Umesh, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group


Nicolas Fiumarelli, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Online Moderator

Joshua Ayayi, Civil Society, African Group


Mohammad Ali Jauhar, Technical Community, Asia-Pacific Group


Round Table - 60 Min

Policy Question(s)

A. How can we promote digital literacy and ensure the availability of relevant content, to enable meaningful access to the Internet? What role do multistakeholder partnerships play in this regard?
B. How can we address the connectivity divide in areas that are commercially unattractive? What role can innovative approaches like community networks, appropriate spectrum allocation play in this context?
C. What strategies can be adopted to ensure affordability and accessibility of the internet for marginalized communities, particularly in the Global South? How can we address the challenges related to cost, infrastructure, and the availability of devices and services?

What will participants gain from attending this session? Participants will gain deep insights into strategies for bridging the connectivity divide, especially in under-served areas. They'll understand the importance of digital literacy, local content, and the integration of human rights in digital development.

They'll engage in discussions on affordable, accessible, and multilingual internet access, contributing to solutions for these challenges. The session also offers an opportunity to learn about the ethical aspects of digital technologies, including transparency and accountability.


The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2023 invites you to join us for an engaging and enlightening panel discussion titled "Advancing Universal Access: Rural, Multilingual Connectivity to Connect the World Online". This session aims to continue and deepen the conversation started at the 2022 IGF roundtable, "Youth Lenses on Meaningful Access and Universal Connectivity", providing a platform for a diverse and inclusive dialogue.

Nicolas Fiumarelli from Youth IGF Uruguay will moderate the discussion, providing a balanced and insightful conversation between our distinguished panelists and the audience. Our panelists include Bia Barbosa from NIC.BR, Nigel Hickson from the UK Government, Nicolás Echániz from AlterMundi, Argentina and Adarsh Basavapura Umesh from the Technical Community in India. Each of these individuals bring a wealth of experience and unique perspectives on the intersections of universal connectivity, multilingualism, and the future of the internet, as well as their implications for human rights.

Throughout this roundtable discussion, we will address pressing policy questions, challenges, and potential strategies. We intend to touch on technical aspects such as IPv6, IDN/EAI, backbone traffic, IXPS, and more. At the same time, we will discuss the importance of local language content, education, and other considerations related to human rights.

Expected Outcomes

The session seeks to identify and highlight actionable strategies to bridge the connectivity divide, particularly in under-served and commercially unattractive areas. It aims to propose effective solutions to make the internet more affordable and accessible, especially for marginalized communities in the Global South. In addition, it will promote the importance of digital literacy and local content provision as critical components of meaningful internet access.

The session also plans to advance the discussions from the 2022 IGF roundtable, focusing on integrating human rights principles into digital development. By exploring transparency, accountability, and due diligence regarding human rights in the context of IG and digital technologies, taking into consideration the Addis Abeba messages.

This engaging and inclusive roundtable discussion is a step towards concrete policy solutions to the challenges we face in the digital age. We look forward to your participation and contributions in this important dialogue.

Hybrid Format: To facilitate interaction between onsite and online speakers and attendees, we'll employ a two-moderator approach. One onsite moderator will direct the session and manage speaker turns, while an online moderator will coordinate the virtual audience's questions and comments. This round-robin system will ensure equal participation between onsite and online attendees, fostering a balanced and inclusive dialogue.

The session is designed to optimize both onsite and online experiences. Regular prompts for questions and comments will be given by the online moderator via the chat function. Additionally, we plan to use Mentimeter's Word Cloud for interactive audience engagement. As the Word Cloud develops, the onsite moderator will deep-dive into emerging concepts with the speakers, ensuring a dynamic and engaging conversation. This design ensures an engaging, participatory experience for both onsite and online attendees.