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Switch It On!

The Internet can improve the quality of life for people everywhere. It can enable economic and social growth. But with only a little more than half of the world’s people with access, it does not include all of us.

Internet connectivity and access is a key enabler of economic and social development. It can improve access for the poor to financial services; it can help people with their education and empower them; it can give them a voice when they lack one.

Internet connectivity also enables the fulfillment and exercise of human rights. ICTs allow people to exercise their freedom of expression and other fundamental rights. Internet access is also central to the development agenda and to realizing the success of the Sustainable Development Goals. Lack of access compounds inequality, with many disadvantages for those left offline.

ITU statistics reveal that there are twice as many mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants in developed countries as in developing countries, and four times as many in developed countries as in the least developed countries (LDCs).

Closing the Internet access gap is a matter of social justice—and of global responsibility. We all must work together to bridge the digital divide and to foster an inclusive digital society.

#SwitchItOn

In many rural and remote places, people need to be connected. They want to be connected.

Community Networks play an important role in connecting the unconnected. These ‘do it yourself’ networks built by people, for people.

Community Networks are a global movement. From Asia with the Wireless for Communities project, to the Tusheti region of Georgia and Rhizomatica’s initiative in Oaxaca, Mexico, Community Networks are examples of how to build, empower and sustain communities of people. By communities. For communities. With communities.

You can help by promoting, donating to, or even building a Community Network. You can contribute your knowledge or skills or simply offer support and encouragement.

Help us #SwitchItOn!

At RightsCon 2018 Access Now and the Internet Society released the joint statement calling for an open Internet that includes everyone. Support our call to the nations of the world to #SwitchItOn and #KeepItOn.

Read the statement

Want more information?

On May 14, 2018 we published Unleashing Community Networks: Innovative Licensing Approaches policy brief. It demonstrates that innovative licensing approaches and other complementary regulatory action can enable access in places where access has been limited or unaffordable. This policy brief complements and builds on Policy Brief: Spectrum Approaches for Community Networks.