Through Facebook Connectivity, Facebook is launching several initiatives in partnership with global operators, equipment manufacturers among other partners to provide high-quality Internet connectivity to more people. The initiatives aim at giving more people a voice, strengthening communities, and creating new economic opportunities. They include: (a) new partnerships and technologies to extend rural connectivity in Peru and Mexico, (b) open source technology to enable new operator business models – Magma in Latin America, (c) new investments in fiber connectivity in Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda (d) Express wi-fi platform to provide people with fast, affordable, and reliable access to the Internet, and (e) high-speed connectivity to urban and suburban communities through growing the millimeter-wave gigabit wireless ecosystem with Terragraph in Malaysia, Brazil, California, and Greece. Through these initiatives, Facebook endeavors to address some of the global Internet connectivity challenges of accessibility, affordability, and relevance through a multi-faceted approach.
Women's rights online address online aspects of traditional women rights with respect to discrimination in the exercise of rights, the right to hold office, the right to equal pay and the right to education. Women represent more than half of the world’s population, yet their participation in technology-mediated processes is an area where progress is still needed.
The need for people to gain access to ICT resources and narrow the digital divide is crucial, and is especially relevant now in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also important to understand how access to the Internet affects the level of economic and social development in a country.
Internet access is growing rapidly, yet large groups of people remain unconnected to the Internet. As of 2015, about 43% of people had access to the Internet (in developing countries only 34%). Access to ICTs is part of the Sustainable Development Agenda, which commits to ‘significantly increase access to ICTs and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020’ (Goal 9.c).
The digital divide can be defined as a rift between those who, for technical, political, social, or economic reasons, have access and capabilities to use ICT/Internet, and those who do not. Various views have been put forward about the size and relevance of the digital divide.
According to UN estimates, there are 1 billion people with disabilities in the world. The factors that contribute to increasing this number include war and destruction by natural as well as human causes; poverty and unhealthy living conditions; and the absence of knowledge about disability, its causes, prevention, and treatment. The Internet provides new possibilities for social inclusion and for safeguarding the rights of persons with disabilities.