New ITU publication to help policymakers extend Internet access to connect unconnected communities
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) published a new publication titled The Last-Mile Internet Connectivity Solutions Guide: Sustainable connectivity options for unconnected sites which provides guidelines to help policymakers and professionals achieve appropriate last-mile connectivity solutions. The publication found that 3.7 billion people remain offline and thus are excluded from the direct benefits of the global digital economy due to challenges related to infrastructure deployment and service affordability. ‘The time is ripe to rethink the positioning of broadband infrastructure development and deployment in national priorities,’ explained ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. The guide is divided into four key steps that pinpoint the planning and policy development phases of interventions: (a) identify digitally unconnected and underserved regions, (b) review options from existing solutions, (c) select sustainable solutions that best fit the given situation, (d) implement interventions to extend sustainable connectivity service.