Our promotion of “free access to information on the Internet” (Internet Lite) got huge attention at the Internet Governance Forum (IGF 2021), which took place in Katowice from 6-10. December 2021. The main take-away for our work were:
- Ensuring that all people everywhere have meaningful and sustainable access to the Internet must be a priority. Access to the open internet is key for bridging the digital divide, as well as fostering democracy and human rights.
- The open Internet can be considered a multistakeholder domain, fostering dialogue. There are three main elements that structure the concept of meaningful access: (a) affordable access; (b) social environment (skills, education, content, multilingualism); (c) meaningful connectivity (technical foundation that allows meaningful access to become reality).
Internet Lite, the free access to text, pictures and local content is applying the free usage of roads by pedestrians & cyclists. We are thankful for Telecom Operators, ISPs and National Research and Education Networks building the “roads”. Once the roads are built, we can apply free access to information on the Internet. By
that, we are answering
- access to open internet – through free access to all text & pictures on the internet
- bridging the digital divide – everyone has free access to information
- fostering democracy – information is available for everyone
- human rights – access to information on the internet is a human right
- affordable access – free access to information and premium access to broadband
- social environment – the wireless information spots (InfoSpots) in each village
- meaningful connectivity – the scale-up from InfoSpots to commercial operations
For practical people like us, we want to see solutions now! Thanks to our premium partner DENT Wireless, we were able to connect 45 schools in Kisumu and Siaya (in Kenya), and are looking for connecting another 200 schools in Tanzania in the upcoming months.
Our booth, demonstrating the InfoSpot and School Connectivity, had extremely good visibility and received tremendous attention. Together with the active participation in the sessions, we addressed
- The scale-up towards a national framework of school connectivity in Tanzania
- The inauguration of a total of 6 regional competence centres (RCC) in Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia and DRC.
- Collaboration with the African Union on economic development
- Empowering communities in 13 countries in Africa
Stay tuned and join