IEEE Commends U.S. State Department on Launch of ‘Global Connect’

PISCATAWAY, N.J., USA, 14 December 2015 – IEEE, the world's largest professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, today issued the following statement commending the U.S. State Department on the launch of its “Global Connect” initiative:

IEEE strongly endorses the goal of universal access to the Internet and commends the U.S. Department of State on the launch of Global Connect, an initiative aimed at accelerating progress toward that goal by connecting an additional 1.5 billion people to the Internet in developing countries by 2020.

The Internet has become an essential tool in providing and protecting fundamental economic, social, cultural, civil and political human rights set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international agreements and treaties.

Furthermore, universal access to the Internet can contribute to the achievement of all of the recently adopted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Indeed, it would be very difficult to achieve many of them without universal access to the Internet.

World citizens increasingly rely on Internet access for education, health care, employment, commerce and information. Moreover, the emerging Internet of Things has the potential to dramatically increase the positive social and economic impacts of global connectivity.

Yet an estimated 4.4 billion people, roughly 60 percent of the world’s population, do not have access to the Internet.

The challenge of connecting billions of people who do not have Internet access will require open and transparent collaboration, coordination and innovation across borders. IEEE believes that by supporting Global Connect and other national, regional and international Internet access initiatives, it can help advance solutions to the global Internet access challenge.

Promoting universal Internet access is inherent in IEEE’s mission to foster technology innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. To this end, the IEEE Internet Initiative draws upon our global community of engineers, scientists, industry leaders, policy experts and others to address the wide-range of Internet-related challenges around security, safety, trust, privacy, governance, participation, fairness and prosperity.

Collectively, we promote education and capacity building, sharing of information and best practices and open standards development and use.

Please visit for the U.S. State Department announcement of Global Connect.

To learn more about the IEEE Internet Initiative, please visit

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