Connecting the Next Four Billion

As the global community approaches the third decade of the 21st century, the importance of the Internet in our social, economic, and political lives will only continue to grow. The prospect of billions of the most vulnerable people left without access and, therefore, unable to participate fully in our increasingly digitally intermediated world ought to be cause for alarm for policymakers, industry, and civil society alike.

The recommendations in this report are a call to action for building on the progress to date and ensuring that the global community focuses on Internet access as a foundational element for sustained socioeconomic development.

This report highlights that while there are a range of ongoing efforts to promote greater access to the internet, gaps remain that slow progress toward universal access. It is up to governments, technology companies, and investors to take the next step and create opportunities for economic and social development in rural communities across the globe.


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