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IGF 2017 - Day 3 - Room XXII - WS160 Policy and Technology Approaches for Expanding Broadband to Rural and Remote Areas

 

The following are the outputs of the real-time captioning taken during the Twelfth Annual Meeting of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Geneva, Switzerland, from 17 to 21 December 2017. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid to understanding the proceedings at the event, but should not be treated as an authoritative record. 

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>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Good afternoon.  Good afternoon to everyone.  Thank you very much for being here.  Thank you the speakers to being here.  So today we're going to talk about expanding broadband access to rural and remote areas and the session will be structured first with an intro and then we'll separate into the challenges and innovations.  So just to start and to frame the question, I'd like to recall that the U.N. agenda for sustainable development specifically acknowledges ICTs and Internet as a horizontal developer for development.  The Internet also is often described as a general purpose technology and the foundation of the (?) economy.  But here the idea of having discussions seemed to have somehow to overcome the issues so we don't see a lot of workshops, actually, dealing with the problem of access.  And this workshop aims to address this issue.

The fact is that over half of the world's population, an estimated about 53% is still not using the Internet by the end of 2016.  Only 49% penetration for mobile broadband subscriptions and 12% for fixed broadband.  So expanding the broadband services for rural and remote areas continues to be a challenge to include people in the digital economy and the digital transformation.  It's not only a challenge in developing countries but also in many developed countries.  Today I'm speaking on behalf of the ICT and I'd like to highlight the fact that even if cities and currents where penetration are higher that is 99% from mobile broadband and 36% for fixed broadband, closing the rural digital gap is still an unfinished task.  For some ICT countries are the differences in Internet penetration may be less dramatic than in others even in those that are doing relatively well, when you break out the data in terms of speeds to which rural areas have access to in comparison to urban areas the picture is still quite grim.

So what I'm trying to say is that there is a problem and more needs to be done about it.  The continued growth and demand on bandwidth will require not only that everyone's connected but also that the networks continue to be upgraded.  And the purpose of the workshop is to bring together representatives from diverse stakeholder groups to discuss this issue.

So, as I said, this session is divided in two.  The first one is focusing on challenges in connecting rural areas and the second on innovative solutions.  For the challenges segment we'll map the state of play in the rule and in selected regions and then we'll ask the panelists to share the new policy and technology approaches for bridging the gaps.

So to ‑‑ we have a lot of ground to cover so I'll get right to it.  Opening the first part of the session and the challenges would be Doreen (saying name).  Doreen is chief of staff, chief of strategic planning and membership and is executive secretary of the UN broadband commission for sustainable development.  She held several senior positions at the ITU before she is leading (?) in regulatory and (?) wide and has coauthored a number of IT publications.  Before joining the ITU, she worked in the telecommunications policy specialist national in NCIA in the USA and so I give you Doreen.

>> DOREEN:  Thank you very much, Lorrayne, and good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, it's great to be here with all of you.  As many of you know the theme of this year's IGF is about shaping our digital future and, of course, when we talk about shaping our digital future we need to make sure that it's an inclusive digital future.  And if I think about the opening ceremony on Monday afternoon, I think one of the concluding messages was that we should be working towards an Internet for everyone.  So male, female, young, old, rural, urban.  So we need to make sure that everyone is included.  And that's only going to happen if all stakeholders are involved.  Each and every player has a role in connecting the unconnected.  And Lorrayne, I commend you in putting together such a multistakeholder panel with governments, international organizations, the private sector and Civil Society together because it's only through all of us working together that we will succeed.  As many of you also know, the ITU, the international telecommunications union, which is just across the street, has DNA, has connectivity in its DNA, that's our core, but we will only succeed if we work with all of you.  We can't do that alone.

Lorrayne has laid out some of the numbers.  I'd just like to maybe recap on some of the points that you mentioned and add a few more.  Our recent statistics show us that it's more than half of the world's population that are still offline.  52%.  And in the developing world, it's closer to 59% almost of the developing world that is offline which means that three out of five people are offline in the developing world.

And then when we look at the least developed countries, we become more concerned because only one in seven are online:  And if we look at seven ‑‑ there are seven economies still today where Internet penetration is less than 5%.  And when I walked into the room today someone asked me what was the pin that I was wearing, and this pin is the representation of the 17 sustainable development goals.  And I mentioned that because the sustainable development goal number nine, specific leg 9C, calls for us to achieve universal and affordable connectivity.  Universal and affordable connectivity by 2020, and ladies and gentlemen, that means that we have a lot of work to do.

>> UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER: In two years.

>> DOREEN: In two years.  We almost need a miracle.  But seeing the discussions here at the IGF I think we can be optimistic that the numbers will get better.  My colleagues tell me that if growth rates continue, that we should at least have a 50/50 ‑‑ 50% of the world's population should be online by 2019, and my colleague, Phillippa, is in the room and she was going over the stats with me before ‑‑ before I came.  So we do have lots to do.  We are also concerned that when we look at 4G and even 5G, what we're seeing is that 4G is being rolled out in areas that are already covered by 3G.  So, again, when we look at rural areas and rural populations, this is something of concern.

So we see lots of new gaps, new gaps in speed, as I mentioned.  We also see more gaps in the area of affordability.  Affordability is one of the greatest challenges when we look at connecting rural areas.  We continue to have an urban/rural divide and we also have a gap between men and women.

So why are there so many people offline?  It is clearly a lack of infrastructure.  It is a problem with affordability.  It's also a problem with awareness.  So often people are not getting online simply because they don't have the awareness of the benefits of connectivity.  We also see lots of problems around digital skills.  And I think Helani's going to comment for on that.  In one of the sessions this morning it was noted and I glimpsed at your opening slide and I had written it down myself, if you build it they don't necessarily come.  So we need to do a lot more on the supply side.  We need to make sure that people have the needed skills to make the best use of that connectivity when they receive it and we also need to make sure that the content is there, that the relevant content is there for those users in rural communities that can benefit from it once they're connected.  And that also means that we need to be tackling local languages.

Of course there's also the issue of trust.  This is another issue that was raised in the opening ceremony and has continued throughout a number of sessions here at the IGF.  One of the reasons that people choose often not to be connected, even if they have the technology and they are able to afford it, is often due to a lack of trust in the network.

So what can we do?  What can we all do here at the IGF?  We believe that we need more innovative models.  We need more public/private partnerships.  And that's where I want to make reference to the broadband commission for sustainable development.  It was set up back in 2010 to help accelerate the achievement to the MDGs, now the SDGs.  And it's a group of policy ‑‑ it's private and public high‑level representatives that are working to advocate around the globe for what is needed on the policy side to stimulate connectivity.  That group has set up a number of targets which we believe have been very helpful in trying to move the needle.  We have a target on broadband policies, and since that target was set, we have many more countries that have set up broadband policies.  And I wanted to mention specifically when it comes to rural, because that group looks ‑‑ they do deep dives in the form of working groups, and they have recently set up a group on satellite space and upper atmosphere technologies and that group has looked specifically at rural connectivity challenges, and what comes out in that report is that there is lots of hope because on the technology side there are technology solutions out there.  And some colleagues in the room may elaborate further on that, Robert pepper has been involved in the work of the broadband commission for many years but that report leaves us with a feeling of optimism.  We need to be more innovative, we need to find the right regulatory models and approaches.  But the technologies are there that will enable us to actually connect the most far‑reaching corners of world and I think I'll stop there.  Thank you, Lorrayne.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you very much, Doreen, for that, that was a great overview.  Now pass the work for Helani, had Helani Galpaya.  Her recent research is how understanding how labor is changing into digitalization net neutrality and help people.

>> >> HELANI GALPAYA: Thanks, Lorrayne.  While the panel is about rural connectivity, implying it's about the pipes miles and the spectrum in the last mile I actually thought I would take a holistic view of people getting connected so not just rolling out the infrastructure but why aren't people ‑‑ are people not on line.  Even in countries ‑‑ even in urban areas where there is very good connect where there is 4G in some of the developing countries, still people are not online.  So the assumption is that we will build it and they will come.  And in the developing world, we really aren't sure.  There's a whole lot going on beyond just having access to a signal.  So what ‑‑ I will just go through a few slides which actually have data.  These are nationally representative household and individualized city access and use surveys so huge large sample representative of the population between 16 and 65 in each of these countries.  This is data collected sort of anywhere between ‑‑ this year literally from some countries as late as last week so apologies for bad formatting, weighing the process of analyzing this is very early data and this is a project called (?).  Just always in the slides we'll have Africa or to your left Asia in the middle and Latin America.  So, you know, Internet use is low.  Africa and Asia performed really poorly.  So Asia, for example, if you take a region India with over 1.2 billion people will dominate the Asian region and we're looking at connectivity being in a really, really bad state.  Latin America has made significant progress.  So these are people who use the Internet, using a very wide definition of the Internet meaning anything from a browser to gmail, Facebook, e‑mail and various apps and so on.

However, when you break down that data by urban versus rural dwellers, there is a huge gap, as you can see.  The gap is really, really stark in certain countries.  I'm sorry, next.  Thank you.  Sorry, I forget, somebody else is controlling the slides.  My apologies.  The gap is really stark.  Countries like Rwanda, India, Cambodia, these gaps are huge.  Next slide.

So what are some of the conditions for getting online?  One, obviously, is some kind of device and if we look at mobile phone ownership it's actually quite respectable right, I mean, we still have a long way to go, 200%, but it's getting there.  Even at India it's 61% reWanda and Cambodia have some catching up to do but even in high 80% in terms of owning a mobile phone.  And while there's a slight gap between urban and rural ownership of phones, it's still pretty respectable even in rural areas.  There is a gap, but not too bad.  Next slide, please provider, however, these are phones, not the kind of phones that you need for a decent Internet experience.  And that has to be a smartphone.  So when you tally up the basic phones versus feature phones which are sort of keyboard phones but are Internet and data enabled versus the smartphones, the yellow or the green, you can now see the difference in the poorest countries in each region you see low ‑‑ high ownership of phones still but low ownership of smartphones.  Again, Latin America is the lucky region with higher penetration.  Africa and Asia, quite low.  And there's a big gap between people who just have a phone versus people who have a smartphone.  Next slide.

Now this is the smartphone data divided between urban and rural because this is about rural connectivity.  And, again, now you see the stark contrast in countries like Rwanda Tanzania and Kenya and, again, India and Cambodia where there's a real gap in rural and urban smartphone ownership.  In Peru and Uruguay you see these differences as well next slide.

So why is it that people don't have a smartphone which is one of the basic preconditions?  Affordability and residents are the two most commonly cited reasons.  The black is people who say I don't need one, the bright red is people who say I can't afford one.  And these two are very important in different ways and these ‑‑ and if you look at the affordability, these markets have the cheap Chinese smartphones in the market in almost all these countries.  At $30 each.  And yet there's a population who perceives this as being too first base and in reality probably is not first base.  And I think even more dangerous is the group of people who say I don't need one because that is directly related to the relevance of the Internet and that experience has to them and we need to worry about that a lot more.  Why do they even don't think they need a device that is really conducive to getting online among other things gaming, et cetera, right?  Next slide.

So we looked at in that previous graph, you know, there's a group who said it's not first base and we looked at urban versus rural.  Of course, affordability is a bigger problem in rural areas for the smartphone as we can see here, in most countries, with a few exceptions.  Next slide.

People who say I don't need it, small difference but not a big difference in urban versus rural.  Skills, there is a group of people who say it is too complicated and that is also a problem, operating this device.  There's an urban/rural gap but overall there's a skills problem I think the difference is not the problem it's a skills problem.  Sorry, this is the graph.  My apologies.

Next slide.  Phone is important I keep talking about the phone because the phone is how people get online that's why I don't focus on desk tops and tablets because if you look at the numbers in our survey they're very, very low and the first Internet experience is on a mobile.  Very short amount of time.  The next barrier is awareness to the Internet.  There are still people who don't know what the Internet is when we ask them with a broad definition of what the Internet is, the people who say no in red is still a significant portion next slide.  This is awareness urban versus rural and as you can see, the people who know about the Internet always lower in rural areas so more people are aware in urban so this is the second barrier.  Next.

The limitations, we said why are you not online?  And they said, you know, whole set of reasons, you know, I have no limitations, out of enough content, I don't have data and so on.  And, you know, including things like I'm not allowed to use it.  And really this is honestly too early for us to draw patterns since I'm looking at the data since last week since we had all the data but we need to go and look at this at the level of countries.

As an example, this is just the Asia data ‑‑ next slide, thank you ‑‑ looking at Bangladesh, Cambodia and India in depth, you know, what are the main limitations and you see speed of the Internet shows up huge in Cambodia, the 71%, in other areas it's lack of time and data costs and so on.  So then we look and investigated ‑‑ next slide ‑‑ actually, what does it say about urban versus rural speeds.  In the 2,000 enumerated areas all of them running speed tests and multiple readings we had 24,000 nearly 23,000 readings, for example, this is India and surprisingly we actually didn't see a huge difference in the speeds that we got.  This is quite a systematic test in all the areas across India.  We did this for all the other countries.  So if you can see the green line is, you know, urban, red is rural, not a huge difference depending on the network.  Next slide you can actually skip, more readings on the data.  However, what we did see in rural areas is network outings so an inability to suddenly get a signal is much more when you don't get a signal that instance was much higher in rural areas.  When you have a signal it seems fine but sometimes you don't have a signal not because there's no connectivity the cell is breathing, there's a mountain, there's various reasons for this.

Finally I'll leave you with this very confusing slide.  When you put all the reasons for why people are not online together, you see sort of one of the dominant things is the dark red at the bottom.  I do not know what the Internet is, which for us, my region, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and India this is very important.  No access to the Internet enabled devices and no interest is the next and that is the next reason and that's more important in, let's say, Tanzania depending on the country.  So we really need to understand these things in depth for urban versus rural and try and solve these problems.  So please let's build it, but let's do other things so they actually come online.  Thanks.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you very much Helani for this.  I think both panelists said complementary things.  They mentioned the access problem but also several side different side issues.  And I'll ask the same question to you are there any other challenges that we haven't addressed, any questions for the panelists here?  And the other panelists are also welcome to intervene and add their own points to this challenges section.  I will open the floor for ten minutes.  Is anyone remote?  Participating remotely?

>> We have no questions.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: No.

>> AUDIENCE: Thank you very much.  A question for Helani, back on your very impressive slide, so how ‑‑ how did you rate the affordability for the selection of countries that you surveyed?  Where was affordability in the relative purchasing power?

>> >> HELANI GALPAYA: This is not shown Phillippa.  What people perceives as barriers.  This is people perceived barriers, right?  So that's why, for example, in Bangladesh and India it's not the top reason, right?  And we now have in other work we have looked at it and, in fact, Asia particularly and Doreen, you've been in many places where I've said this, Asia has affordable Internet going by even the broadband commission's definition, and yet under 30% of the people are using the Internet so there are countries I'm not dining affordability's a problem it's, of course, in some countries but there are many countries, including India, where affordability is not the primary reason it is afforded by acceptable international standards there are other barriers and something is stopping people from getting online.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Well, many things.  Are there any questions from the floor?  Yes, please.

>> AUDIENCE: Hello.  (saying name) communications and my question is for Helani, Helani just building up in your answer, did you need any correlation between the different rural and urban populations and therefore made the comments you just made or it's based on the average income in the whole country or did you try to ‑‑ because I guess it depends ‑‑ depending on the rural and urban income.

>> >> HELANI GALPAYA: Not yet is the answer simply because we didn't have time, so obviously that would be one thing to correlate based on income and urban and rural actually to cross‑tab that.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: I know that another one wants to react to that, please.

>> AUDIENCE: Thank you, great data, Helani, as you know, I love data as well and one of the things I'm going to talk about later in terms of technology some of the data as it relates to technologies.  But just here I just want to note that last year for the first ‑‑ it was a beta test we're doing again this year we turned it into a time series we looked at 75 countries and 46 indicators for each of the 75 countries and we did this with the economist intelligence unit and they did all the data collection and data analysis and all the data's available online because we think it's important to make data publicly available so people can do their own analyses but I want to go to the awareness question because the question you just pointed out Helani is even where it's first base and it's available people are not necessarily getting online and you talked about awareness.

One of the things that we did is we looked at that and we actually in terms of clustering ‑‑ doing the analysis and clustering the 46 variables we came up with four areas there's availability which I'll talk about, that's the infrastructure, that's the supply side.  There was affordability which is sort of you already addressed the obvious and then the third was relevance and the fourth was readiness, readiness was similar to the skills you were talking about.

But specifically on the relevance what we found was that the ‑‑ there were a number of drivers and variables driving adoption in terms of relevance and there were two groups of content.  We had one which was local content and local language, right?  And that becomes essential, it's a real driver and then the second group of content variables, what we called relevant content was e‑gov applications, e‑commerce applications and entertainment.  And so we got down to a pretty granular level on the demand driver for adoption and use looking at some of those content variables and what we found was that there was a, again, going to the correlation question a high, you know, correlation relevance when we looked at local content and local language and, of course, that's really difficult in a country like India that has 1400 local languages, I mean, you know, it's ‑‑ it's not easy ‑‑ how many?

>> >> HELANI GALPAYA: 21 official languages.

>> AUDIENCE: 21 but a loot of official languages.  I'm able to get to this.  But the e‑gov applications, in emerging economies, e‑gov applications that help people in their daily lives have transactions and make things easier for them working with government, whether it's registering a child's birth or paying taxes or now, by the way, with the UID, the universe Sam ID in India just has dramatically changed things, that e‑gov applications become a real driver and that's something again public‑private partnerships, content creation the things of things Doreen you talked about actually become a driver for people to adopt and use the Internet so it just complements the work you're doing.

>> I find that interesting and I should look this up because what we ‑‑ and in terms of the most important use that they make of the phone certainly I'm really happy to hear that e‑gov is there because what we see is people just want to get on Facebook.

[LAUGHTER]

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: There's some reactions from the floor, I'd like to hear from them, please.

>> AUDIENCE: Thank you, my name is Daniel Obom from Kenya.  Just a question, Doreen, what does the broadband commission consider to be broadband, maybe Dr. Pepper can answer that, he's going to talk about technology as well, have we come to defining what we mean by broadband so when you talk about access to broadband ‑‑ I don't know are you talking about speed, are you talking about a type of technology?  What do we mean by broadband?  Thank you.

>> Well, maybe I can react to that as well.  The definition of broadband is 256, right, and it does look very much outdated.  And it's interesting because we're currently working on a paper addressing the issue of rural broadband and that's why we decided to convene this workshop and one of the first questions that we asked ourselves is okay what is broadband so I think your question is very relevant.  The main problem is even among (?) countries there is no decision on how to upgrade this definition.  What we've done so far is to do ‑‑ actually use benchmarks of different speeds that ‑‑ in which we actually access the penetration.  So depending on the speed limits, we see how much of the country's actually covered for that service but we see that question and the fact that we don't have a definition of broadband who's actually conducive with the services that are out there to be a very big one but it requires some sort of a Harmonization and a decision on a high‑level and because many countries have included definitions of broadband with specific technical definitions with single frameworks with single obligations it's very, very hard to change but it's something that we're certainly looking at things in the (?) to address but it's a very relevant question.

>> AUDIENCE: So Daniel, without defining what broadband is, and I'll come to this later, I don't want to use the time now, we actually in the study with the economist looked at connectivity necessary ‑‑ so the difference between being connected to the Internet and having an inclusive Internet is you ‑‑ with an inclusive Internet you actually can have access to and use the rich applications that actually help people, you know, in their lives, actually makes a difference in terms of economic and social benefit.  That's an inclusive Internet.

What we found is that a little bit more than half of the people who are connected are underconnected.  So in addition to the people who are unconnected, there is a large underconnected, you know, part of the population because you ‑‑ in order to really benefit, you have to have at least a 3G or 4G preferably connection to have the rich applications where everything is moving to video and I'll talk a little bit more about that later in terms of technology.  It's not a definition issue, it's trying to be very pragmatic, what do you need to be able to actually use and benefit and that turns out to be fairly robust high‑speed that is persistent and persistence is one of the things Helani that you talked about, about it being dropped and so on.

>> AUDIENCE: Just a quick one for Daniel and others, while there may not be a world standard for it I think Robert touched upon the thing which is usability and the readily available bench I would say nothing above 1mb, 2mb is probably closer to the reality.  In India where I work a 512kpps is usual and there's talk about raising it to (?), 12.5 is a good point to begin the discussion I think.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: We have other questions from the floor, please.

>> AUDIENCE: Thank you very much for a very enlightening presentation, Helani.  I think in Kenya anecdotally, what is driving people to invest in mobile phones is social content, as you said, and financial applications.  Not so much e‑government.  Actually, the users of e‑government are usually the sophisticated people who value their time, so they see a benefit in not cuing up for a service and rather just doing it on their phone because, of course, there's a cost to that broadband, it's not free.  But I wanted to ask, maybe just to follow on with what Dr. Pepper has just said, even though the issue of local language is very important, many people are not literate in their local languages because most of us are taught to read and write in foreign languages.  So I think the issue of multimedia content is the one that I'd be very interested in because, one, it's very ‑‑ it's much easier to create, especially with today's devices, people can use their phones to record content, and secondly, again, you don't need a lot of skill to watch multimedia which you would to maybe develop special scripts or to have other types of content in local language.

So I'd just like to hear from the panel whether anybody's looking at the multimedia as opposed to the textual kind of content.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Maybe you'll get another reaction before moving back to the panelists.  Did you have a question, yeah everyone else thanks my name is Karen Rosen, I'm a consultant and I recently moved to Algiers, Algeria, where the Internet has taken off rather quickliment and I have an opportunity a lot to interact with young people.  And I ask them all the time how many of you are on the Internet.  And you don't see many hands go up.  And then you ask how many of you use Instagram, how many of you use Facebook?  How many of you go to the UAPA football scores, you know, all the boys' hands are up.  So, you know, people are more defining the Internet in terms of their experience on the Internet or the application on the Internet rather than using the term of the plumbing the Internet itself.

So my question is:  I wonder as we go forward, when we do these surveys, how much do we have to be careful about the terminology in asking people whether they know about the Internet 'cause people aren't defining it in terms of the plumbing anymore.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: That's a very good question.  Do we have any other questions from the floor?  Yes?

>> AUDIENCE: Thank you.  Mogand gamy from Kenya.  A quick one for Helani.  In the age demographics I just want to know what sort of importance to put on the various segments in the age gape because you've got a very wide range, so I'd be worried about the lower ages talking about relevance than I would about affordability and vice versa.  Thank you.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: I have another question and then I'll come back to the panel but we need to start the second part of the workshop everyone else is anyone looking at these issues alongside rural electrification issues?  It seems like there's some opportunities for partnerships there.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: If you can please react quickly.

>> When you talk about rural electrification it's not just rural electrification, many places in India have electricity, however how long.  Are they able to charge their mobiles.  Internet in India is on mobiles so that is a question.  There are some private organizations who are coming up with innovativeness in the mobile, charging, et cetera, to kind of bridge it but, yes, that's important.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Yes?

>> AUDIENCE: I don't know if you know there's a political ‑‑ or there's a proliferation of organizations addressing exactly that question.  There are people here from various technology companies which fund directly these organizations, after the session I'll be happy to point them out.  I would leave you, though, with the question of whether bundling is always the best solution.  Energy is an extremely important thing, connectivity is an important thing.  Two important things are not always the greatest sin energy.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you for that Michael and then I'll pass to Robert pepper to.

>> ROBERT PEPPER: I want to come back to the multimedia question that was asked.  So, okay, so one of the things that when I was at CISCO, I worked with the people who did the visual network and index forecast, it's a brilliant study you should look for it, they've been doing it every year, they've been doing it 12 or 14 years a number of years ago we forecast that 80% of the data or either fixed or mobile networks was going to be video.  And, actually, it's already happened.  So people at the time said, oh, that's crazy, well, it's already happened and one reason is everything is moving to multimedia meaning, frankly video, whether it's short form video, long form video, YouTube video, video clips on Facebook or Twitter you all send little GIFs, video.  And one of the nice things about video in native local language is the applications are content and local language.  It's no longer meaning text.  So your point is absolutely correct and, in fact, in countries that have low literacy rates in terms of traditional reading and writing are using, you know, keyboards or, you know, with very simple interfaces and now moving to voice interface where you can actually speak to the device and it will respond, this also is driving adoption for the reasons that you said.  So there is some evidence of that, and I think, frankly, that's also the future.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you very much and then for Sebastián Sebastián Bellagamba a quick comment and I'm going to paraphrase (?) that we had a conversation yesterday on electricity.  And there's a direct relationship between the experience that you have online and the available of electricity because of the devices you're going to use.  Devices that will last longer, the battery will last longer but the (?) of those are less then the smartphone the last less without the, I mean, recharging opportunity.

And about the terminology I think it's quite important because when you talk about connecting to the Internet you mean two different things, actually, and for my generation connecting to the Internet is a dialup thing that you are on and off online offline, for the sake of this conversation is connecting to the Internet, those who were connected I've always connected, we don't connect and disconnect anymore, I mean, yeah.

>> AUDIENCE: On the age thing absolutely these are things that need to be looked at in the next level this is not fair just ask ‑‑ we know urban and rural are different, different age groups are different, different income levels are different, different education level people will use it differently so this is the next level of analysis clearly.  I think the Internet usage terminology is an interesting one and, I mean, we've been doing this service since 2005, and we used it back in the day asked do you use the Internet and the numbers were very low.  In 2010 we asked again the number and for example, in Indonesia, among all the people at the base of the pyramid representative sample 7% said I use the Internet and yet we go to field research repeatedly all these people who are using Facebook.  So luckily, I mean, a good reporter called at the time and there's a hugely circulated article on media, people may not even know they're using the Internet so obviously learning from that now our survey supposed to fall expand on this definition, do you use the Internet which could include anything from a browser, do you pay for the ‑‑ any kind of data connectivity, do you use Facebook, so it's a very, very broad definition and then in the survey questionnaire we have other internal clarification questions also by asking other behavioral and usage question to then verify that the answer is correct, you can keep improving but your point is relevant and we've already learned from it.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you very much I need to start the second half but then I'll come back to questions at the end.

So now we're going to the second part which is on the innovations and we've already discussed some of them here but we'll just start with a policy perspective and then we'll go to technology.  So starting on the policy will be Bengt Mölleryd, bent since 2009 he works cost modeling, cost of capital, price regulation market research, investment operators, guest research at wireless at KTH which is the royal institute of technology in Stockholm, and teaching in the communications sector.  I'll pass the word to you bent.

>> BENGT MÖLLERYD: Thank you, Lorrayne, and also thank you to be able to be here to participate in this important workshop.  Clearly I'm coming from the north, so you have to bear with me as a Scandinavian and Swedish perspective but nonetheless some of these issues are general, I would say generic.  To begin with demand, the question is could policies foster, create, drive demand, sorry but policy making can't do that and that was just underscored in the previous talks but what I think policymakers could do is they could not create a market because there has to be generating demand to users, from end users, local communities, local businesses.  And these (?) the customers or the people living there also have to have both time and money because basic infrastructure requires capital.  And it's a high fixed cost which implies economy of scale, that means that many can share the cost, basically.

And to facilitate the deployment on network people have to aggregate demand and that's where the uses come in.  Really to aggregate demand which is a question of involving the community to get people on board to get the ball rolling.  Because you can see on the first wave of fiber driven community networks in Sweden they form small communities, and there are almost 1,000 of them today and this is basically can be referred to as community networks which has been expressed, talked about in other workshops here and also a book has been recently published on community networks.

But the dilemma is that the first wave of this fiber (?) they have got older and the networks are being deployed by professional operators these days.  So it's meaning that the first wave of people building networks is one thing but the long‑term maintenance to maintain this infrastructure in the long‑term is a challenge and that's why in Sweden you can see now that more commercial operators are taking over but the people there locally was instrumental in making these networks possible.

And second, it requires the involvement, engagement of municipalities, regions, policymakers have a road to engage and set broadband targets, engage people.  I will say that there is a significant role for policymakers in municipalities to form broadband planks, to set broadband targets, to formulate digital agendas, to involve communities, schools, public offices, healthcare, and companies.

Certainly access to broadband does not solve all problems, but it could clearly contribute to offset urbanization, enable people to maintain living in rural areas.  And policymakers should work with state aide on the regional levels also really to implement bottom‑up financing.  So this is really on the policy side to promote the ideas of connectivity, to spread the word, basically, to foster and support demand.

And thirdly, the building network is a very local thing.  It's a thing that creates a physical thing and deploy network so the question of rights‑of‑way, how these networks are deployed, actually deployment techniques, and there are policymakers are decision makers.  Policymakers and municipalities play an important role as decision makers for various permits.  And they should allow for low‑cost deployment techniques like in my country micro trenching is one way of deploying fiber net compared to traditional methods.  Plowing and there can be other ways of doing this and it can also involve bay stations, for example.  Rights of property can be handled in an efficient way in order to improve and smoothen the process and also the question of the cost, I know that a lot of property owners are eager to charge high bills.  But the former in Sweden that in order to deploy fiber work is really on the terms where the local property owners are prepared to provide this at a low cost.

Fourthly, to go ahead to build community networks, municipal networks or form public‑private partnership.  If the community or municipality had the right competence, they should initiate network planning to go about and build networks.  Municipal networks could be a implement to electricity networks.  And this has happened in Sweden where since roughly the last 20 to 25 years there are roughly 180 municipal networks which really is providing access to people living out in rural areas or they could also be a question of public‑private partnership.

And fifth, policies should not undermine private investments.  And publicly sponsored networks should also be opened allowing competition on services.  Clearly the issue of competition is critical because although there is a need of involvement of public and state when it comes to deploying network in rural areas competition from private networks is essential.  And, but this is building on fact that there is a demand from end users and what we have seen in Sweden so far is that the border from where they are able to build has extended over the time because deployment is possible at a lower cost at the same time there is a growing demand, people want to be connected at all times regardless of where they live.  So this is really that they are commercially possible to deploy fiber networks also to rural areas.  This means that there is currently a massive deployment has ongoing and there is basically a market.  There is a potential cash flow for investors and there is also a possibility for private networks to deploy and there is a business case.  But, as I said, deployment of networks require massive capital, we can never avoid that.  And this certainly the state and regional financing is a requirement on top of private money or local money in order to make this possible, in order to deploy networks.

So to summarize, the policy issues is really on demand and this is not the policy question, this is a people question because I clearly see that to be connected and the willingness to be demand, to erase demand to talk about this, the active role of use should not be underestimated.  Certainly there has to be willingness to pay for this as well and also the time to spend time to aggregate the demand.  And then they have the second, the active role of policymakers and municipalities.  They have a key role to play to support the regional development and support local initiatives.  And then thirdly, the dynamic policymakers giving their rights away allowing cost‑efficient deployment techniques, for example, like micro trenching is taking down the cost considerably and as we see now in Sweden all the deployment of fiber is ongoing that more and more municipalities are making ‑‑ are prepared to do that.  And also the fourth, the deploy municipal networks, if there is no one else building the network, given that the right conditions are in place.

And fifth is really in the same time to love competition and private investment should not be underestimated because basically we're talking about long‑term investment and so stimulate investment is key in order to build and facilitate these networks and that these networks could be open because when the state aide or some public involvement the networks are open for service competition and it could also be public, a public partnership in order to facilitate this network.  And finally because of the demand building on these other steps that I mentioned there's also to facilitate more national broadband networks.  In between you're seeing demand is growing networks deployed, treating their government to enhance the targets for broadband in order to ‑‑ to also implement with state aid.  So it needs to be state aid to close the final gap for the last mile or the first mile but ultimately we have to have a strong involvement from end users and local communities which will contribute to shape a sustainable long‑term connectivity for all.  Thank you.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you very much, bent for bringing the policy perspective and now I'm going to pass to Sebastián Bellagamba he's the ISOC, joining ISOC and worked in the service providers industry, several ISPs in Argentina, currently he's based in Uruguay Sebastián Bellagamba, thank you Sebastián Bellagamba good afternoon, it's very interesting.  Doreen told us an important thing, 50% of the population is not yet connected to the Internet and that's something that we have to lead our preoccupations.  We also know that this ‑‑ most of these people that is not connected lives in rural areas and Elaine ‑‑ Helani, sorry, introduced it to us a little bit in rural and urban situations which is really good.

I think we have to hurry up, guys, I mean to sort this out because although no other technology has been deployed at such a rapid pace as the I want in the history of humankind, we have still a big problem.  50% of the population is not yet connected to the Internet.  The Internet ‑‑ we see the Internet as the (?) social and economic progress and human well‑being.  So if we agree with that we have to hurry up.  We have to hurry up because this digital gap is actually widening.  It's not getting thinner.  In good sense.  The relative number is still getting bigger so apparently we're getting close to bridge the digital divide.  But actually the cost of people ‑‑ for people that is not yet connected is bigger than ever.

I have a saying, I mean, which is not exactly true, but when we were ‑‑ there were 10% of the population of the world connected to the Internet, the real‑life was offline.  Today real life mostly happens online.  If you are not connected to the Internet today you're not accessing the financial services that the lady from Kenya was saying, you're not accessing the multimedia, but most of the real things that you have to do to carry on with your daily life goes ‑‑ is online.  So those people that are left behind have been more and more being left behind in any second.  So we have to do it and we have to do it now, by 2020 as we all ‑‑ we all agreed upon.

Innovation is important.  I think there are several things.  One has to do with the technical innovation, there is a lot of things going on in the innovation side, I mean, for bridging this digital gap but I think one of the most important innovation is kind of a social innovation that, it's not really that, it's not innovation and I would like to highlight the community network space, I mean, if we see the pyramid of world population and the connection, we've been growing the ‑‑ we've been connecting people to the Internet with a spillover effect, I mean, almost organically, I mean, from the top just spilling over way to the bottom.  That is not fast enough, I mean, it's been proven that it's not fast enough so we have to modify our approach.  We have to go to the bottom and from the bottom up.  That is exactly what the community networks is doing.  So we have to get all our support on that.  Community networks are doing a great job in helping us put in two sides of the digital divide and getting these two sides together.

As many things as we can do for helping these people working on community networks, and I would like to highlight some titles for the sake of time, but policy retail the issues ‑‑ policy‑related issues, basically three things, spectrum, the most efficient way for community networks to reach people in sparsely populated areas is wireless so we need to let them work with a good spectrum.  What does that mean, what does spectrum mean, not very scientific.  Good spectrum is where equipment is easily and cheaply available.

Second, licensing.  We need to allow community networks to work under a legal environment.  We don't want anyone to go to jail, basically.

Third, clever use of universal services.  We have a tool there.  I mean, it's being underutilized in many of our countries.  A good use for (?).  We have to build capacities, we have to create the capacities everywhere for people to set up their own community networks, community networks, thanks to the English grammar in Spanish it would be the other way around the good thing about community networks is community goes before networks it is the community that goes on top, in Spanish it would be the other way around, it would go second but I use the English grammar for the sake of the analogy.

Three, we have to create communities, communities are community networks and we have to allow them to get together and to be more efficient, to share practices, I mean, we have to put in play the community networks community.

And finally we have to help them deploy the networks, I mean, they need resources in any kind.  I mean, human resources, they need money, they need everything.  So with a need to support these guys that are working on the community networks still and we're doing something to bridge the digital divide for us thank you.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you very much Sebastián for highlighting community network's case.

Now I'm going to move ‑‑ give a word to.

>> MICHAEL GINGULD: Al Ginguld.

>> MICHAEL GINGULD: I'm going to try and take a lot of what we've been discussing so far to a local space which is India I'll try and divide it into three things.  I'll talk about existing policies and technologies.  Technologies and policies that are coming up and end up with a wish list and I'll try to do it within six minutes, I promise.  Just two or three words about air Al jailedy, we started in 2009 we now have networks in eight Indian states covering 30,000 square kilometers serving about 230,000 registered users but we began our life as a community network with 25 users way back when in 2007 so a bit of experience on both.  The reason I'm going to talk about India is not because I think India is the only place in the world and not because I expect all of you to be interested in India but I think some of the examples that I'll talk about will have relevance beyond India.  So what's existing?  India is in the midst of a huge drive for additional connectivity in rural areas.  There is an open scheme national fiber networks, money has been entered investing in reaching the lowest administrative unit in India.  This is augmented by another investment of about ten billion dollars to put hot spots in these locations.  Some of the interesting things that are happening is beyond the local drive to do it which is really a supply side drive as Robert pepper said earlier is that some governments took the initiatives on themselves and they're coming up with very innovative things.  For example, a government in the south of India said we've got a right‑of‑way problem and rolling out fiber is going to take a long time but hold on the electricity company is also owned owned by us.  They strung it on top of the electricity wires.  It's much cheaper very, very quick and became aggregators of content and bandwidth and they have a really interesting triple play for ISDs to come and use.  There's bandwidth and content that's been aggregated.  There's also market forces that are happening.  India's been looking at probably the biggest rollout in 4G networks in known history.  One private company invested $30 billion in building a network in India.  They have provided bandwidth for free for a year.  If you're an ISP you will appreciate what it means to operate under a regime where everything is free and you're trying to sell, and free calls.

How does that ‑‑ and there's also a masss massive air till the biggest provider in India is investing 3 billion in upgrading their fiber networks.  What does it mean for us ‑‑ what does it look like in a rural area and for air Al jailedy first of all huge competition, on the other hand lower costs.  Our expansion is not fueled by lower bandwidth costs.  The technology that we use, we use mostly wi‑fi is mature.  There are improvements to it.  Better distances, dealing with interferences, higher data rates and so on but the other thing that's happening and it's kinds of simulating what's happening with the larger players, scale is beginning to be an issue.  If you cannot scale as an operator, as an ISP, you're going to be hitting the problem of economies of scale or the lack thereof, and I'm happy to report that we at our company is managing to do that, to grow.  What's on the horizon?  Prices in India now even after they've moved for free probably amount to the lowest in the world especially when it comes to use of mobile technology or public hot spots.  Proper disclosure, we do some of this work with Facebook in a project called express by phi of which we are proudly the first ones in India to do it.  Prices are very, very low.  The market will rationalize, however, because right now it's a battle of giants, the floor is very slippery with blood, we slip on it but it will stabilize and when it stabilizes a very, very interesting thing that will happen is that the millions and millions of people that were onboarded on data services on India this year will continue to be data users.  They will not drop off.  I want to actually make a comment about this thing connect and they won't come.  My humble experience as I say 30,000 square kilometers and eight states if you bring it they will come and if the price point's right, they will use and people talked about digital content there's something called YouTube I think you know it you'll be surprised how quickly people find it.

What ‑‑ technology.  So we talked a little bit about fiber, a little bit about wi‑fi, there's a whole gamut of very, very interesting technologies that need to be used or could be used and are available and the battle rages.  There's ‑‑ there's a range called TV white spaces which was used traditionally UHF by TV channels and offers some very, very interesting possibilities for rural areas.  Unfortunately in most countries in the world it is still held very, very tightly and not given as unlicensed although there are very, very interesting possibilities of doing it even when you sell the spectrum.  Other technologies are e‑band which is the high gigahertz range very, very high rates of data delivery across distances as far as ten kilometers.  V band which is, again, another gigahertz technology, very, very good for distances.  I've got one minute and I'll finish.  There's also fiberoptics, guys like Google alphabet are testing technologies that are up to 200 kilometers and 20 gigs.  For us we're technology agnostic.  As a rural ISP, our job is to do the best that we can.  Give good service, stable service, fast service, 256 is not fast, 256 is telegraph and do it in a stable manner and all of these technologies help.

On the wish list I'd like to end up and I'll take maybe 30 seconds for that.  I would like to see somebody talked about USO funds, good luck to unlock those, those usually are huge standards.  Parse out huge standards government funds or government led things to smaller packages will help to realize them.  We could think about an outcome driven drive whereby I as a government do not, for example, subsidize building (?) but I come to an ISP and I'll say I'll subsidize every user that you have by X percentage and it's easy because we're an IP‑based service and we'll give them the GUI, GUI * chances of leakages is very, very low this is something I've been pushing personally very hard.  More than that I think we need to begin to think, and I know that it's ‑‑ this may not be the topic of this panel, we need to think of Internet for what, so great, they're connected, they're literate one way or the other.  Internet has many, many other things it can do and I think it's our joint responsibility to be doing that and what I'm talking about is three things that I think are crucial and where the Internet can help.  One is the environment, environmental monitoring, the ability to do something about it.  I have some good examples from India but no time.  The second thing is precision agriculture.  We can do a lot based in a rural area to develop agriculture that optimizes the use of inputs and therefore reduces the environmental impact, optimizes the income of farmers.  And the third thing is water usage, a huge issue, I live in a country that has ‑‑ in India right now although I come from Israel there is no reason for India to be thirsty, once we start reducing the 40% water loss that exists.  Thank you.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you very much, Michael, for that, you raise some very interesting points.  I'll now come back to Amrita chewed hurry, director of a not‑for‑profit trust Internet stakeholders living in rural and semirural areas in India.  So Amrita you have five minutes Amrita Choudhury, thank you so much.  I know we have a global office, I'm sorry, I'll limit my experience mostly from my experiences at India because I operate from there and to.

>> AIHUA WANG: Certain extent (?) primarily because we are the second largest base and we have more than 1 million people to connect.  We constitute about 30% of the total offline population, actually.  I was told to speak about the new policy initiatives which has ‑‑ which the government has undertaken or the country has looked at.  For us both the supply and the demand are the challenge because we have a rural area where the initial focus is primarily to increase the coverage.  And we are obviously 2G dominated even now.

There have been quite a few policies which has been rolled out and Michael had been speaking about a few like the national fiber network which is supposed to connect in the village level.  They are ambitious plans, things have happened to a certain extent but more can happen.  There is an initiative where virtual network operators and mobile virtual network operators can provide connectivity where the ISP might not want to go into.  There have been also recommendations to increase the rural coverage through wi‑fi, where in village level entrepreneurs are being encouraged to provide Internet from the last line of the fiberoptic to the ridges.  So these are certain new initiatives which is on, however, more can be done in that perspective and we also have national telecom policy 2018 coming up with certain stakeholders have been making certain recommendations.  If we look at the rural market today, the issue is actually that these markets are weak, and there is a need to bridge the viability gap.  However, it's very interesting to see that the rural areas, which is near the urban areas, people are using Internet access.  So perhaps the operators or the ISPs can learn the lessons of what people use in those areas.  Simultaneously, if you're looking at the, you know, the policy perspectives which are needed to bridge the viability gap, it would also be in terms of using the universal service obligation funds more efficiently.  Currently it is only being given to certain amounts.  Rather if also the other private ISPs telecom providers are given certain subsidize one of which Michael mentioned of incentity advises them by the number of rural users they have perhaps it can incent advice them to bridge to a certain extent the viability gap.  There's a recommendation made by the telecom regulatory authority of India that certain amount of particular Internet bandwidth be provided to rural citizens when they're using Internet.  However, the department of telecom which actually looks after the connectivity portion, there are some concerns there.  We wait to see what happens in that recommendation.

On the supply side, if we look at it, broadband, data services actually is a service and the policies need to reflect how to make the Internet more relevant for users so that the rural users feel the need to use Internet.  For example, plumbers and electricians in India understand the value of the mobile phone.  And they carry a mobile phone.  So if even a plumber or electrician know that WhatsApp can help them in their business they will definitely do so.  And just to ‑‑ just to mention if a person is using Facebook or, you know, they are using any other service, YouTube or anything, it's absolutely fine the way they use it, as long as they start using Internet.  Simultaneously, the localized content, regional level content is very important to ensure that the local people are online.  And if you're looking at subsidize, perhaps certain ‑‑ the subsidize need to go to the users.  Also if there can be bundled services say, for example, health, women, et cetera, given certain public services which can be bundled there can be more usage amongst the people.  Investment, definitely something which if the government does, is great.  The private operators need to have the liberty to innovate.  In fact, there are discussions that the licenses should be so developed that there is scope or innovation currently which is limited to a certain extent.  And also if we look at the national up‑‑ the fiberoptic which is being laid at times government doesn't have the expertise, so it's better to have a public‑private partnership wherein there is some amount of innovation which is come.  And also it is important to see why people in rural areas need Internet.  A small example ‑‑ I'm sorry, I'm talking time ‑‑ when telephone first came into India people were given local calls free in these rural areas, however, it was never used the reason being local people talk to each other.  But when I ‑‑ the S ‑‑ the STD or ISD the national or the international calls were reduced people started using.  That's because there were many migrant people to the urban areas or the other areas and that's what induced them to do.  So it's very important to understand what is the actual need of the rural area.  Thank you.  I think I've overshot my time.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: Thank you very much Amrita.  I'll now go back to the technology part but I'm sure he'll talk about policy as well with Dr. Robert pepper he's the head at Facebook and from that he was the vice president for global policy at CISCO so.

>> ROBERT PEPPER: I will try to be brief because we have 12 minutes till the end of the workshop but I'll also try not to be make it analog compression that I speak so quickly you can't understand.  So we've heard a lot about the gaps I talk earlier about the EIU study that we do called the Internet inclusion index in which one of the things we identified not only the unconnected but the underconnected parts of the world, and the point I made earlier is that if you really want to have all the benefits that we were just hearing about you have to have a robust, persistent, high‑speed quality connection to the Internet and so the question is how do you do that and what is preventing people from being connected.

The first thing clearly, because it's all wireless, we've already heard about the need for more spectrum, spectrum that is both licensed as well as unlicensed, both, it's not one or the other it's all of the above for different purposes.  We tend to at Facebook, work very closely with ISPs whether it's, you know, a wireless ISP with ‑‑ in India using express wi ‑‑ I talked a little bit about that, express wi‑fi equipment or it's with mobile operators.  We see this as a symbiotic relationship, very important, mutually beneficial, because the world is move to video and very high‑speed applications that actually bring them benefits we need really high speed, robust great networks and then the content that we provide along with others, are what really creates the demand that creates the ‑‑ the opportunity for new business cases.  Because a lot of the issues are about business cases and how do you attract the investment, the long‑term investment, the sustainable investment.

And focusing on the underconnected and unconnected, so first thing is you need more spectrum, that's obvious, all right, I'll move on from that that's easy, it's not easy necessarily but we know that all right and we actually know how to solve that problem.  It turns out that when we do the granular analysis the biggest technical barrier to really scaling to full Internet inclusion in these robust networks is the lack of backhaul, right?  It's not access, we have all kinds of low‑cost access technologies, but you have you have to have the backhaul that gets you there.  So if you have a mobile operator that is working and has a 2G network that covers people but can't scale beyond text, what do you do?  That concrete example ‑‑ by the way, we are completely technology‑neutral, whatever technology works, right, we're happy to help deploy.  We actually have engineers, I tease them sometimes, they're turning science fiction into reality creating new technologies that then can be used to solve these backhaul problems in a very concrete way.

So the mobile operator that has good 2G coverage but they can't get good broadband to their mobile towers, the towers, I'm sorry, the towers are not mobile, they don't move, right?  So how do you get the good backhaul so to the tower so you can have a good mobile operation and network to be able to support the smartphone handsets?  A good example of that is airtel in Uganda.  In Uganda approximately 80 to 85% of people have available to them a 2:00 GSM voice connection ‑‑ 2G GSM voice connection.  But in rural parts of Uganda there's no way to scale to broadband off of the same tower.  You can't put in a 3G antenna bay station or 4G bay station if you're running off of a two mega bit backhall or satellite link.  So the type of project that we're involved in, and Uganda's a good example, we partnered with airtel in a small infrastructure operator called BCS and we just finished last month building and turning on a 770‑kilometer fiber core network to their towers.  It's an open fiber.  We believe in open networks.  That, you know, that any operator can then become part of for the backhaul, the core.  And then they can have their own networks and services at the edge.

We've already seen this move the needle in terms of not just the number of people connected, but the types of things they're able to do.  It's making a difference, right?  That's real infrastructure investment.

A second example of a different technology is what do you do when there's no towers or there's really ‑‑ it's even more difficult until you can build the fiber.  So we have a project called Akila and this is a very long‑term project, right, it's a long‑term investment.  It started in 2015 ‑‑ 2014 and '15 with a couple of people who had this crazy idea that maybe what we can do is have drones that will fly 20 kilometers up above weather, aircraft, they'll have a wing span of a 737 but weigh 440 kilos, be solar powered, fly for three months at a time, and there will be hundreds of them that will be connected and meshed together with laser beams.  Sounds pretty crazy, right?  Actually, the first one, the test aircraft flew in 2016, we did it again ‑‑ we took the learnings from that and did that again this year on the aircraft side, but there are other things that are going on.  So we have ‑‑ we're building radio technologies to beam up from a cable landing station to one of these Akilas and then we're building technology for laser beams to connect and mesh together, and then when they're over a medium density village they can beam down using radio again.  We have no intention of operating that.  We don't want to ‑‑ we're inventing the technology and making it available to network operators, a consortium of network operators, individual network operators, others that want to provide the backhaul service using the technology.  Now, we're not in the air frame, aircraft business but we got this started because nobody thought it could be done and last month, again, we do things on nonexclusive basis, last month Airbus said they were interested so they're going to be part of the project and they'll be doing ‑‑ and others as well ‑‑ the air frame.  But we're developing the payloads, both ‑‑ and testing with the radios and the laser beams.  Again, if it ‑‑ by the way, this is a project that started in 2014‑15.  We had to go to the world radio conference in my session earlier this morning one of the things I pointed out the I2s been great, the radio ‑‑ making these things available is essential and it can't be done without the good work of the people at ITR, right, the WRC, but we're going to have to go back to the WRC in '19 and maybe if we pull it all together we'll have these things up and really and test before that really deploy by 2022 that's a seven and eight‑year project, it's long‑term, highly risky, it might not work, we think we will but these are the kind of big bets with new technologies to solve these really difficult problems in rural parts of the world that are not connected and are underconnected.  Real fast because my time is up I just love ‑‑ Michael, you gave three things, your wish list yours the Internet for what?  Environment, precision agriculture and water security, Hipa and I, Phillippa Biggs, no longer Doreen, Pippa I and Anna we worked together with a colleague of mine John Garrettity and was it two years ago we issued a report parting with the ITU, great staff, on linking and mapping Internet of things with the SDGs.  And these three areas were three examples of using digital technology, Internet of things, and how they can, in a very practical, concrete way, help people save lives and address really and improve the SDGs and accelerate and achieve the SDGs.  So I just want to thank Anna, Pippa and, by the way, on another project we collaborated with as a coauthor was Lorrayne with the ITU as well so it's a great staff that helps on these things but that, Michael is exactly ‑‑ and if you haven't seen it I'll point you to the report.  Thank you.

>> LORRAYNE PORCIUNCULA: So we have three minutes to finish the session.  I don't think we're going to have time maybe for one comment or question, probably not a good idea at this point.  But, well, I just want to say that I think the amount of topics that we covered in this workshop is really ‑‑ it's illustrating how much work we still need to do and how many topics we can cover when talking only about rural broadband.  And I ‑‑ I mean, we mentioned the first part challenges and raised many questions regarding connectivity and effective connectivity in terms of affordability and relevancy of content, for example, and a second part we touched into some issues regarding innovative policies, so we raised the back haul spectrum, community networks, but also some very interesting innovative technology solutions that are out there trying to bridge the gap in rural areas.  And I ‑‑ I think the conclusion from this panel is that there's a lot of good work that is being done, policymakers across the world are looking at this issue.  It is ‑‑ it's certainly a priority for many countries from the ICT it's not an issue that's close to being solved even.  But working with the private sector with policymakers trying to close these gaps, trying to look at are at their disposal and what private sector is doing to actually develop solutions is the way to go.  I do hope that in the next IGF we are not going to have one but several workshops that are tackling this issue.  It's a too broad of an issue for us to discuss only one hour and a half but I thank you very much for your participation and for your excitement with your questions from the audience as well.  I think we all take this matter very, very seriously and I'm sure the panelists will be around for at least a couple minutes if you want to interact more.  Thank you very much.

[APPLAUSE]

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