It is now generally accepted globally that the Internet is no longer a luxury, but an indispensable tool that has become a way of life.
Most recently, during the global Covid-19 pandemic, thanks to the internet, people were able to continue their work from home despite restrictions on movement – both within countries and across borders – that were imposed to contain the virus.
Many can’t help but wonder how much the global economy and order, in general, would have been affected if this pandemic had hit before the advent of the internet.
Either the lockdowns would not have been plausible due to the lack of alternative means of business continuity, or in the event that we had chosen to proceed with the lockdown, the global economy would have taken a hit that we might not have could give us back.
This is a simple yet straightforward example of how internet connectivity has become vital in our daily lives.
At the weekend’s meeting of the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development in Kigali, leaders – including the commission’s two co-chairs – called for more investment in broadband speed to ease the financial burden of the Internet on the population whose dependence on it is increasing day by day.
However, it is a known fact that the infrastructure required for broadband connectivity is very expensive, and particularly less developed countries find themselves having to weigh their options in the face of many pressing needs of the population.
This is why initiatives such as the International Telecommunications Union’s Partner2Connect Digital Coalition, which aims to mobilize resources to extend Internet connectivity to the most underserved communities, must be fully supported.
Developed countries, international organizations and especially multinational companies should support this initiative because, as already understood, a connected population is only one step away from prosperity.
Further efforts should also be made to create regulatory frameworks, if necessary harmonized between countries, to guide the ecosystem and ensure that people make the most of this connectivity.