Difference between revisions of "European policy options for digital access and inclusion – WS 09 2015"

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*[http://internet-monitoring-study.eu/ SMART Internet Measurement and Monitoring Study]
*[http://internet-monitoring-study.eu/ SMART Internet Measurement and Monitoring Study]
*[http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/digital-agenda-europe-2020-strategy Digital Agenda for Europe]
*[http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/digital-agenda-europe-2020-strategy Digital Agenda for Europe]
*[http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/scoreboard Digital Agenda Scoreboard]
*[http://ec.europa.eu/priorities/digital-single-market/index_en.htm A Digital Single Market for Europe]
*[http://ec.europa.eu/priorities/digital-single-market/index_en.htm A Digital Single Market for Europe]

Revision as of 22:37, 29 May 2015

Please use your own words to describe this session. You may use external references, websites or publications as a source of information or inspiration, if you decide to quote them, please clearly specify the source.

This session is a European oriented version of the UN IGF initiative "Policy Options for Connecting the Next Billion".

Session teaser

The Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) invited all national and regional initiatives to contribute to the horizontal global inter-sessional theme for this year: "Policy Options for Connecting the Next Billion", by incorporating this theme into their programmes in order to provide their input into the discussion and related documents.

Input from IGF initiatives could include bullet points addressing the following questions:

  1. Definition of the issue “Connecting the Next Billion”
  2. Was the policy a government policy, industry policy (either collective best practice or corporate policy), civil society collaboration, or technical policy?
  3. Regional or national specificities observed regarding connectivity (e.g. Internet industry development)
  4. Existing policy measures, and private sector or civil society initiatives addressing connectivity
  5. What worked well in the development of the policy, and what impediments were encountered, what was the experience with implementation
  6. Unintended consequences of policy developments/interventions, good and bad
  7. Unresolved issues where further multistakeholder cooperation is needed
  8. Insights gained as a result of the experience
  9. Proposed steps for further multistakeholder dialogue/actions

Further details are available here.

Session description

Europe is one of the most connected regions in the world: according to the International Telecommunication Union, by the end of 2015, the Internet penetration rate will be at 77.6% of the population, and the number of Internet users will reach 487 million. However, we also have to face our internal digital divide: between countries in the North and in the South, and in the West and the East, between urban and rural areas, between the digitally literate and those who lack the necessary skills to benefit from the Internet and, last but not least, the gap between those who can afford to connect and those who cannot. To tackle these problems, a wide range of policies and strategies are developed and implemented both at a national and at a regional level. As building networks and providing access to physical infrastructure is not enough, such policies also need to be focused on issues like affordability of services, cultural barriers and digital illiteracy.

Within this context, the session will be focused on four categories of issues:

  1. Relevance and current situation: Why is Internet access important? What is the state of Internet access and use in Europe?
  2. Policy options for improving access: What is the adequate environment to encourage investment in and roll-out of (broadband) networks? What are the policy options for creating such an environment? What are the best practices in this regard? And what are the roles of the different players (governments, intergovernmental organisations, the private sector, etc.)?
  3. Policy options for closing the gaps: If the physical infrastructure is in place, what are the next steps for bringing people online? How do we move from access to actual use? What are the policy options for dealing with the other dimensions of the digital divide (improving digital literacy, empowering the un-empowered, etc.)
  4. Europe and beyond – international connectivity: What does Europe do beyond Europe to contribute to connecting the next billion?


access, inclusion, policies, digital divide, literacy



Further reading


  • Focal Point: Lee Hibbard, Council of Europe
  • Org team: Cristina Monti, European Commission; Sorina Teleanu, Chamber of Deputies, Parliament of Romania
  • Key participants|Panelists:
    • Mark Carvell, Department for Culture, Media and Sport, United Kingdom Government
    • Frédéric Donck, Regional Bureau for Europe, Internet Society (ISOC)
    • Jānis Kārkliņš, Ambassador of Latvia, Chair of the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group
    • Desiree Miloshevic, Afilias
    • Megan Richards, Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology, European Commission
  • Moderator: Lee Hibbard, Council of Europe
  • Reporter: Cristina Monti, Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology, European Commission
  • Remote moderator: Sorina Teleanu, Chamber of Deputies, Parliament of Romania

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