Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development issues recommendations for ‘thoughtful approaches towards meaningful universal connectivity’

The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Developed published this month a report titled ‘The State of Broadband: Broadband as a Foundation for Sustainable Development’ were it highlights a slowdown in global Internet growth and the persisting digital exclusion which require context-specific measures in order to be addressed. An estimated 3.8 billion people still need to be connected to the Internet. The report acknowledges that broadband connectivity plays a crucial role in the realisation of sustainable development goals and underscores that additional efforts to promote the access and adoption of high-speed broadband connectivity should be undertaken, including mobile network coverage which remains rather slow in low-income countries. The Commission advocates the concept of ‘meaningful universal connectivity’ that promotes Internet connectivity while at the same time managing possible resulting shortfalls of the same. 

To that end, the report sets out ten recommendations including improving efforts on digital skills, promoting digital inclusion in broadband plans, and effective and innovative policies to improve broadband availability to underserved and marginalised groups, to name a few. The recommendations are intended to help policy-makers, the private sector and other concerned connectivity actors achieve the Commission’s 2025 targets.