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BPF Local Content

 

Background

Ubiquitous and affordable Internet access, and content creation in all forms are critical facets of a robust Internet ecosystem. There is widespread evidence from multiple sources that tells that people go online because they expect the Internet to be useful and interesting. Relevant content and services that answer to the demand and needs of users drive Internet uptake and growth.

Globally the penetration of Internet has reached 54,4% at the end of 20171, while the penetration of radio - the media most available in the world - is over 95%.  Regions that have known important improvements in Internet access and affordability, for example rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa, have not seen Internet uptake and usage growing at a similar speed. There’s a gap to fill. People and whole communities risk to miss opportunities, have no access to online knowledge, and cannot participate in the (local) online market.

Locally relevant content and services that meet the expectations of the local users and potential new users, make the Internet an attractive and useful tool, whether users are looking for information, amusement, or helpful tools for their business, study, or hobbies, or for a communications tool to keep in touch with family and friends The lack of relevant content and services in local languages risks to lead to a lack of interest to go online and a slower Internet uptake in regions where access and affordability conditions recently improved. Spurring the demand side of the Internet is thus inextricably linked to the relevance of local content. Moreover, the abundance of global contents in foreign languages risks to create a growing divide between citizens in the same communities.

For example, a survey for the United States showed that 11% of Americans don’t use the Internet and that 34% of those non-users “do not go online because they had no interest in doing so or did not think the Internet was relevant to their lives”.2 In developing countries,  such as Brazil, internet non-users also cite lack of need and interest as one of the main reasons for remaining offline. Similarly, in India, lack of need drives 53% of non-users to remain offline.3

Building on the work of the BPF Local content 2014 and 2017

Local content is a returning topic at the IGF and considered to be a subject that benefits from continued cooperation and coordination efforts among all stakeholders.

In 2014, the BPF on Local Content explored how to create an enabling environment for its the development.4 The 2017 BPF on Local Content built on the 2014 effort by collecting case studies and examples of successful projects from various stakeholders. These case studies and examples demonstrate best practices and are intended to inspire policy and decision-makers seeking for ways to stimulate local content creation, and motivate and support local developers or entrepreneurs to create content and services for the local population.5

 

About the 2018 Local Content BPF

Towards a sustainable local content value chain

Inspired by the discussions during the BPF workshop at the 2017 IGF meeting, it isproposed to continue the BPF Local content in 2018 with a focus on both enabling a sustainable local content value chain, and the economic viability of creating and providing locally relevant content.

The BPF intends to look at the needs of SMEs, startups, and content providers at the local and national level, as well as explore what hinders international and global providers of content and services from offering content in specific countries, regions and areas. Special attention will go to the developing countries’ perspective, both with respect to building up a local content ‘industry’ and enabling local users to access content offered by global providers.

For the BPF to be successful, the involvement of businesses, government representatives, and civil society groups that are supporting the development of the local online market is key.

The BPF intends to reflect on work done in other forums or by International organizations such as WIPO, UNESCO and WBU/EBU around the need to improve local content in order to make an attractive Internet offer.6 Reports published by UNESCO7 around the 2005 Convention on Cultural Diversity or those published by UNCTAD between 2008 and 20168 that include country profiles and outlook in all LDC around the world9 can be used as important reference documents.

Topics & perspectives to cover: (to be prioritized and structured by the BPF)

- Business models and related issues: Monetization of content, secure payment platforms, paid content versus free content and the use of ads, banners and other methods;

- Freedom of speech and access to information;

- Multilingualism, education and skills;

- Infrastructure and related issues such as Net Neutrality;

- Trade related issues such as the cross-border transfer of content, geo-blocking, use of quota;

- IP & copyright as enablers of sustainable local contents industries;

- Consumer protection;

- Appropriate regulatory frameworks promoting the creation of local content,

Government initiatives and their intended and unintended impact;

- Stakeholder involvement and cooperation: content creators & producers, right holders, media platforms, / governments and regulators;

- etc.

What does the BPF intend to do?

- Further identify and describe critical issues;

- Seek for best practices and tested solutions in different contexts;

- Identify stakeholders and parties involved;

- Provide a platform to strengthen the discussion between stakeholders.

 

Outreach Plan and Multistakeholder Engagement in the IGF

As indicated, for the BPF to be successful, the involvement of businesses, government representatives, and civil society groups that are supporting the development of the local online market is key. Outreach will be focusing on these groups.

The BPF further intends to invite organisations such as WIPO, UNESCO, WBU/EBU10 and WEF11 to participate in the discussions and share their research and expertise.

The BPF will reach out to those who actively participated in the BPF discussion at the IGF in Geneva - some of them explicitly expressed their interest to be involved if the BPF continues. Among the active participants in the BPF discussion at IGF2017 were representatives from the Wikimedia Foundation, EBU/WBU, The Walt Disney Company, Orange, the Mediterranean Federation of Internet Associations, BW Botswana, InnovTDD Ghana, AFRALO, the Internet Society, Maharat Foundation, ICANNWiki, the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF), ICANN, and others.

The BPF will reach out to organisers of workshops at the last two IGF meetings on local content and related topics. As soon as available, the BPF will screen the list of workshop proposals for the 2018 IGF and invite those who submitted proposals on topics on or related to local content to join the BPF discussions. In a later phase, the BPF intends to explore synergies and cooperation between accepted workshops on local content and the BPF. Outreach will remain high on the BPF’s agenda and participants to the BPF will be invited to make additional suggestions for outreach to and potential cooperation with organisations, projects and forums.

 

Mailing List Sign-up

The BPF Local Content mailing list is open to all stakeholders interested in or with expertise on related issues.

Sign-up at https://intgovforum.org/mailman/listinfo/bpf-localcontent_intgovforum.org

 

Documents

Proposal to the MAG for 2018 Work

 

 


1 https://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm
2 Pew Research Center, 11% of Americans don't use the internet. Who are they?, accessed March 6, 2018, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/03/05/some-americans-dontuse-
the-internet-who-are-they/
3 WEF, Internet for All: A framework for accelerating internet access and adoption (2016), accessed February 15, 2018,
http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Internet_for_All_Framework_Accelerating_Internet
4 https://www.intgovforum.org/multilingual/content/2014-best-practices-forums
5 https://www.intgovforum.org/multilingual/content/bpf-local-content-0
6 See the conclusions of the recent WSIS thematic workshop on this topic organized by these 3 organizations:
http://www.itu.int/net4/wsis/forum/2018/Content/Uploads/DOC/1de190dce61e4d3ab740a1a5b185227a/session-158_summary.pdf
7 http://en.unesco.org/creativity/global-report-2018
8 http://unctad.org/en/pages/publications/Creative-Economy-Report-(Series).aspx
9 http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/webditcted2016d5_en.pdf
10 WBU/EBU already expressed support for the BPF 2018 proposal on the IGF mailing list.
11 In particular the teams involved in the WEF Internet for All initiative.


 

 


 

Additional Information

 

Contact Information

United Nations
Secretariat of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF)

Villa Le Bocage
Palais des Nations,
CH-1211 Geneva 10
Switzerland

igf [at] un [dot] org
+41 (0) 229 173 678