IEEE Internet Inclusion: Advancing Solutions Event in Delhi to Drive Collaboration on Connecting the Unconnected
PISCATAWAY, N.J., USA, 1 September 2016 – IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, today announced Internet Inclusion: Advancing Solutions (IIAS) – Delhi. The 15 September event in Delhi, India, organized by the IEEE Internet Initiative, will bring together government officials and leaders from development banks, industry, the technical community, non-governmental organizations/civil-society organizations and others for a day of collaboration on bringing affordable, universal Internet access to the almost 60 percent of the world’s population who remain unconnected today.(1)
“The Delhi event builds on an earlier, globally scoped IEEE event addressing Internet inclusion and seeks to hasten efforts to connect the unconnected by providing a platform for a deeper dive into the challenges, barriers and opportunities within the local South Asian context and perspective,” said Oleg Logvinov, chair of the IEEE Internet Initiative. “IEEE is uniquely suited to bring together such a diverse cast of stakeholders, extend local conversations to the global stage and maintain momentum toward the goal of affordable, universal access.”
Internet Inclusion: Advancing Solutions – Delhi will feature interactive discussion and working sessions with a focus on finding sustainable solutions and models for digital inclusion, such as envisioned in “Digital India,” a flagship program of the Indian government premised on the vision of transforming India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge-based economy. It is estimated that the percentage of unconnected people is higher in the South Asia region (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) than worldwide.
Discussions at the event in Delhi will be organized in the following framework:
- Connectivity: Infrastructure, equipment, tools and software
- Capacity: Trained professionals and well-informed end users
- Community: Peoples’ needs and potential for innovation
- Content: Local language and relevance to local needs and use
- Finance: Investment in infrastructure, capacity building, education, local content development, etc.
- Conducive Policy and Regulation: Enabling framework for affordable and ubiquitous Internet access, an enabler for economic and social inclusion
- Technology: Affordable, user-friendly and accessible
“Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi’s visionary and ambitious Digital India program has the potential to transform the country through digital infrastructure, enablement and empowerment. However, the challenges are aplenty. While India already has 300 million Internet users, many of those are connected at low speed but more importantly, three-fourth of the population is yet to come online,” said IIAS program chair Deepak Maheshwari, director of government affairs for Symantec across India and the ASEAN region. “IEEE believes that it is going to take a judicious mix of various technology solutions and conducive policy framework in this pursuit. It has made significant progress in a very short period of time by bringing together key, varied stakeholders to collaborate in this endeavor of connecting the unconnected while also fostering security and safety.”
At an earlier IEEE event related to Internet inclusion, held in conjunction with the World Bank, U.S. Department of State, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on 13 April in Washington, D.C., more than 150 engineers, scientists, development professionals, industry leaders and others from an array of technology and industry domains gathered with global policy experts to explore real-world opportunities that exist to extend affordable Internet access in underdeveloped and underserved communities and regions around the world. A report from this IEEE Global Connect Stakeholders event is available. Also, in June, IEEE released its first Position Statement on Universal Access to the Internet: “IEEE endorses the goal of universal access to the internet and supports national initiatives and international collaborations designed to expand access to the billions of people in both developed and developing countries around the world who do not have access to the internet.”
A report from the Internet Inclusion: Advancing Solutions gathering will be available online following the Delhi event. A related event, Internet Inclusion: Advancing Solutions – Washington, D.C., will take place 5-6 October.
About IEEE Internet Initiative
The IEEE Internet Initiative is a cross-organizational, multi-domain community that connects technologists and policymakers from around the world to foster a better understanding of, and to improve decisions and advance solutions affecting Internet governance, cybersecurity, and privacy issues. Learn more at http://internetinitiative.ieee.org and follow @IEEENetPolicy on Twitter.
IEEE is the largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice in a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers, and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power, and consumer electronics. Learn more at www.ieee.org.
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