January 24, 2018 // 10:56 a.m.
The United Nations (UN) Broadband Commission has set targets for the year 2025 in a bid to encourage sustainable development and get the 3.8 billion disconnected individuals access to the Internet.
Founded in 2010 by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the UN Broadband Commission's aim is to propose strategies for the development and deployment of broadband services across the world. Following a special session at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland last night, the Broadband Commission has updated its roadmap with the release of seven 'ambitious yet achievable' targets to assist in connecting the half of the world currently operating without Internet access by 2025.
The Commission's goals, as stated, are: all countries to have a funded national broadband plan or strategy in place, or to include broadband in their definition of universal access and services; entry-level broadband access should be made more affordable in developing nations at a maximum of two percent of the monthly gross income per capita; access to the Internet should be available to 75 percent of people worldwide, up from a projected 50 percent by the end of 2019, with 65 percent of those in developing countries and at least 35 percent of those in least developed countries connected; 60 percent of youth and adults should have achieved 'at least a minimum proficiency in sustainable digital skills'; 40 percent of the world's population to be using digital financial services; a reduction in 'unconnectedness' of micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (SME) by 50 percent in each sector; and 'gender equality should be achieved across all targets.'
These goals, the Commission claims, are stepping stones to 'connecting the other half', the 3.8 billion people in the world who are expected to be without Internet connectivity by the end of 2019. More information is available on the official website.