Commissioner Community Responses
In Moments of Crisis, Broadband Commissioners Come Together to Offer Immediate Support to Communities Worldwide
In response to COVID19, a number of Commissioners have released a number of initiatives and applications have been launched, several leaders have called for action from their communities to help the world’s population cope with this new pandemic.
Listed below are our commissioners' responses, organized by sectors of society and marked by the pillars of the Agenda for Action that they uphold
Commissioner Hans Vestberg, CEO of Verizon, has released a number of initiatives to support first-responders and maintain connectivity to vital services, including building new COVID-19 hotlines and deploying Verizon Response Teams to provide on-demand services. Verizon also partnered with the New York Times to offer students free access to Times journalism.
President and CEO of MTN, Rob Shuter, is prioritizing keeping people connected. Through the Y’ello Hope package, MTN is providing relief products to support mobile and digital platforms that relay vital information, offering free school and university sites to facilitate distance learning, and zero-rating some transactions on Mobile Money platforms.
Rajeev Suri, CEO of Nokia, confirmed the launch of a Coronavirus Global Donation Fund to provide financial assistance to charities, hospitals, health clinics, and other frontline non-governmental organizations who are leading the fight against COVID-19 and trying to mitigate its effect on communities.
CEO of Intelsat, Stephen Spengler, released a statement sharing Intelsat’s commitment to protecting its employees and ensuring continuity of its global operations through the establishment of a COVID-19 Task Force, activation of the Intelsat Emergency Broadcast System, and comprehensive testing of remote-work capabilities.
Commissioner Kevin Martin, Vice President, Mobile and Global Access Policy at Facebook; Through Keeping People Safe and Informed About the Coronavirus, Facebook is supporting the global public health community’s work to keep people safe and informed during the coronavirus public health crisis.
Dr. Joanna Rubinstein, President and CEO of Childhood USA is leading and participating in several efforts to protect children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with global partners, Childhood USA developed and released a Technical Note with recommendations for governments, private sector and educators for child online safety, and in partnership with experts developed Parenting Tips for Keeping Children Safe Online during COVID-19.
Head of the Novartis Foundation, Dr. Ann Aerts, announced that the Novartis COVID-19 Response Fund will allocate $20 million to help impacted communities worldwide, including programs to strengthen digital platforms for data collection and dissemination of important public health information.
ITU Secretary General and Broadband Commission Co-Vice Chair, Houlin Zhao, launched a global platform to sustain and ensure continuity of telecommunication networks during the COVID-19 crisis. The Global Network Resiliency Platform will assist governments and the private sector in ensuring that networks are kept resilient and telecommunication services are available to all.
Commissioner Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, launched a #BuildforCOVID19 hackathon to promote the development of software to take on challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, WHO launched a Health Alert to bring COVID-19 facts to billions via WhatsApp.
UNCTAD Secretary-General, Mukhisa Kituyi, published a new analysis that provides snapshots of how technology is being used as a critical tool in maintaining business and life continuity, and reveals inequalities in digital readiness.
Commissioner H.E. Al Mansoori, Director General of TRA released a number of initiatives launched by the government of the UAE to enhance the ICT sector, including free mobile phone internet data to enable distance learning and access health platforms, and extension of wireless authorizations and provisions.
Commissioner Leong Keng Thai, Director-General (International Affairs) of the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA), shared Singapore’s efforts to ensure access to timely and accurate information, help citizens acquire digital skills, and enable businesses to access digital solutions.