Accessibility, afordability, and effective use of the Internet

Access is not only about technical access to the Internet, but should also take into account affordability and accessibility of the Internet connection, a representative from the Digital Empowerment Foundation explained during the session on Freedom of Expression Online: Gaps in Policy and Practice (WS 153). In the workshop Can Internet Rights and Access Goals be Reconciled (WS 126), the issues were addressed from a developing country perspective. Once again, it was stressed that access is about providing the context for full and effective use of the Internet, and about strengthening human rights. In addition, panellists expressed concern over the Facebook-led initiative: the initiative may limit innovation by providing a strategy akin to a walled garden. However, a Facebook representative explained that the project is still in its infancy, and that one has to keep in mind different perspectives, based on social and cultural diversity.