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Growing the Internet 14 January 2021

Want to Make the Internet Even Better in 2021? Register for Our Special Edition Community Event

By April FroncekFormer Senior Editor, Internet Society Foundation

Early last year, as people across the world quarantined to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the Internet became critical to maintaining a semblance of routine and getting the latest lifesaving information. But there was a stark reality. Those without Internet access would have to grapple without this vital resource amidst a global pandemic.

Internet Society volunteers around the world understood the gravity of the situation. They jumped in to enable secure access.

In North America, NYC Mesh, a community network supported by the Internet Society, rushed to connect as many households as they could. While it was still safe to do so, they crossed rooftops to bring connectivity to some of the city’s most underserved.

In Europe, the Internet Society Italy Chapter launched SOSDigitale to mobilize resources and volunteers to respond to urgent technology gaps. The Portugal Chapter followed with their own SOS Digital campaign to donate computers and digital support to at-risk youth.

And in Latin America, residents of El Cuy, in remote Patagonia, Argentina, were able to reduce their potential exposure to COVID-19 via their newly-established community network, accessing medical prescriptions, education, banking, and government resources online.

No one could have predicted the events of 2020. But there were two things that were foreseeable.

The Internet remains the force for good many of us have come to take for granted – resilient and reliable while our world was turned upside down.

The Internet Society’s global community of individual members, Chapters, SIGs, Organzation Members, and partners consistently rise to challenges to enrich lives, overcoming obstacles with energy, vision, and determination.

The Internet Society works for an open, globally-connected, secure, and trustworthy Internet for everyone. We have never waivered in this vision. But this past year has given our work extra weight and focus. Now the world understands, too.

We must continue to ensure the Internet is there for everyone. Our 2021 Action Plan is the roadmap.

Please join us on 28 January for the 2021 Special Edition Community Event: Action Plan 2021. During this event, we will explore the 2021 Action Plan – and renew our commitment together for an Internet for everyone.

Register for 2021 Special Edition Community Event: Action Plan 2021!

Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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