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Growing the Internet 17 May 2022

Internet Society Joins Partner2Connect Coalition to Expand Internet Access Globally

Partnership will help build Internet infrastructure, train thousands by 2025.

Washington, DC – 17 May 2022 – The Internet Society today announced it is joining the Partner2Connect Digital Coalition, an initiative led by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) that aims to foster meaningful connectivity and digital transformation in the hardest-to-connect communities around the world. In joining the coalition, the Internet Society is making pledges to support 100 complementary solutions to connect the unconnected, and to train 10,000 people to build and maintain Internet infrastructure, all by 2025.

Despite progress in bridging the global digital divide in recent years, nearly 3 billion people remain offline. Launched this past March by the International Telecommunications Union, Partner2Connect supports the implementation of the U.N. Roadmap for Digital Cooperation, and calls on governments, businesses, civil society, and international organizations to mobilize the resources needed to create a more equitable digital world and to bring more people online by 2030. Organizations can make pledges offering financial, policy, advocacy, and/or programmatic support.

The Partner2Connect Coalition’s objectives–to connect people everywhere, empower communities, and build digital ecosystems–are in close alignment with the Internet Society’s own vision that the Internet is for everyone. Creating an accessible and affordable Internet requires cooperation and contributions from multiple stakeholders, working together to support and promote the development of the Internet globally.”
Michuki Mwangi, Distinguished Technologist, Internet Society

The Internet Society works with communities worldwide to fund and build these “do it yourself” networks and trains people with the skills needed to run and maintain their own Internet infrastructure.

As part of the Coalition, the Internet Society pledges, by 2025, to:

  • Support 100 complementary solutions to connect the unconnected. Building on existing efforts to expand community networks, the Internet Society aims to increase the number of community networks in remote, rural and underserved areas around the world, and promote an enabling policy environment that will allow these networks to grow and thrive over the long-term.
  • Train 10,000 people to build and maintain Internet infrastructure. In addition to laying the groundwork for community networks and other innovative connectivity solutions to grow and thrive long-term, the Internet Society will provide communities with the resources needed to build and maintain Internet infrastructure and grow the Internet. The Internet Society is in a unique position to contribute to this effort through its robust e-learning platform which has trained over 9,000 individuals in the past year alone. The organization is currently developing new courses on community networks that will launch later this year.
We thank the Internet Society for its contributions to the Partner2Connect Coalition. We need more creative connectivity solutions if we are going to connect the unconnected, and the Internet Society’s proven success in growing user communities and skills training makes it a great partner in advancing the Coalition’s goals and empowering communities around the world.”
Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau
About the Internet Society

Founded in 1992 by Internet pioneers, the Internet Society is a global non-profit organization working to ensure the Internet remains a force for good for everyone. Through its community of members, special interest groups, and 120+ chapters around the world, the organization defends and promotes Internet policies, standards, and protocols that keep the Internet open, globally connected, and secure. For more information, please visit: Internetsociety.org.

Media Contact
Allesandra deSantillana
Internet Society
[email protected]

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