Advocacy Document

Connecting the Unconnected: Working Together to Achieve the Connect 2020 Agenda Targets

January 17, 2017

A background paper to the special session of the Broadband Commission and the World Economic Forum at Davos Annual Meeting 2017.


The UN Broadband Commission and the World Economic Forum are co-hosting a Joint Program in Davos on 17 January 2017 to highlight the increasing importance of Internet access and adoption as an enabler to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and to enable all economies and societies to participate and benefit from the 4th Industrial Revolution. The Special Session will bring together leaders from government, business, civil society, and academia with the objectives of:
(1) assessing existing efforts and progress towards connecting the 3.9 billion people not on the Internet and
(2) discussing innovative approaches and solutions and how these efforts can be scaled and replicated.

Last year’s Special Session of the Broadband Commission in Davos focused on facilitating alignment and collaboration among established initiatives and foster joint investments and promote partnership, as well as help to contribute to maximizing synergies among various efforts to extend the benefits of connectivity worldwide. To kick-start the discussion, a Discussion Paper was prepared that provided three key statements highlighting the largely positive economic impact of the Internet on economic growth, estimating high-level infrastructure investment requirements of US$450 billion to connect the next 1.5 billion and providing evidence of a generally positive link between a progressive enabling and regulatory environment and broadband penetration. The key outcome was a joint call to action in relation to aligning efforts on infrastructure investment.

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Date published: January 17, 2017

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