Creating millions of new internet users

Internet for All aims to improve the lives of people currently denied the economic and social benefits of the internet.

The challenge

The internet has become a fundamental part of commercial and personal life. It is easy to forget that more than one-half the world’s population – 3.9 billion people – are not online.

Significant barriers remain to connectivity. For example, almost one-third of the world’s inhabitants cannot access 3G coverage. Meanwhile, 80% of online content is only available in one of 10 languages, thereby excluding many people.

A collaborative approach is required to strengthen the four cornerstones (infrastructure; affordability; skills, awareness and cultural acceptance; and relevant content) of greater internet inclusion.

The strategy

Internet for All was launched in 2015 to provide a platform where leaders from government, the private-sector, international organizations, non-profit organizations, academia and civil society could come together to develop models of public-private collaboration for internet inclusion. Its primary focus is on supporting communities that face the greatest obstacles to connection because of issues like isolation and poverty.

The project operates at the global, regional and national level. It coordinates global actors to address cross-cutting thematic issues, and works with partners to accelerate promising innovations, attract investments, facilitate partnerships, and strengthen the policy and regulatory environment.

Internet for All forms part of one of the 14 Forum System Initiatives:

System Initiative
Shaping the Future of
Digital Economy and Society

The System Initiative of Shaping the Future of Digital Economy and Society aims to advance public-private cooperation that ensures digital technology builds a fair and equal future.

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The impact

An Internet for All steering committee emerged from a global community of more than 50 organizations from the public, private and non-profit sectors.

The project has developed a methodology that is replicable across emerging markets, and country programmes in Argentina, Jordan, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda are resulting in commitments, partnerships and coordinated action.

Tangible results so far include in Rwanda, where the social enterprise Digital Opportunity Trust is partnering with Mozilla and the Government of Rwanda in a “train-the-trainers” programme, where 5,000 digital ambassadors are providing digital literacy training to 5 million people.