The Information Technology Industry Council is teaming with the Newseum, Microsoft, and tech companies to host a series of sessions at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. with the goal of boosting global broadband access and adoption in the developing world.
Dubbed, “Connecting the Unconnected,” there will be at least four sessions over the next year featuring representatives from Argentina, Estonia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Myanmar, Nigeria, and Uruguay; from the World Bank; academics, and tech companies including Microsoft—which is sponsoring the series—Akamai, Apple, Facebook, Nokia, and Qualcomm, though no ISPs.
“The Internet has become increasingly necessary to participate in the global economy as digital technologies make development more inclusive, innovative, and efficient,” said ITI president Dean Garfield. “Yet the transformative power of information and communication technologies are not realized in many countries around the world, in part because of a persistent digital divide between the ‘connected’ and the ‘unconnected’.”
Asked why those were no ISPs included in an effort to "develop a series of tools to expand Internet access" and "promote connectivity," an ITI spokesperson said this was to be "more of a global discussion."
ITI did make the point in announcing the effort that "simply providing Internet access does not automatically trigger the governmental and societal changes necessary to leverage the Internet," adding, "without essential building blocks like smart national policies and regulations, as well as the development of digital literacy skills, nations are unable to reap the benefits of a digitally enabled economy."