The State of Broadband

People Centred Approaches for Universal Broadband

Date published: September 19, 2021

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Despite progress on Internet access and adoption, more effort is needed to ensure success and concrete movement towards the global 2030 targets. Additional investment and inclusive, open partnerships can advance progress towards universal broadband – which in turn will accelerate economic growth, help alleviate poverty, impact social development, and address climate change. Policy and regulatory actions will not only encourage and incentivize greater investment and Internet adoption, but will also address inequitable access sparked by market failures.

Putting individuals at the centre as we build digital infrastructure and progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development requires concerted effort. This will involve moving beyond mindsets focused on technological fixes, and focusing on those user issues that limit adoption – socio-demographics, skills, affordability, relevance, content and trust. Efforts are required to direct funding to address the challenges of the unconnected. As new waves of innovation in digital infrastructure go mainstream concerted efforts must be made to ensure these developments particularly benefit low- and middle-income countries as well as developed countries. This report details the current state of play, lessons learned from the pandemic, progress on meeting the Broadband Commission’s 2025 targets & the SDGs, and policy recommendations for a people-centred approach to achieving universal connectivity by 2030.

View the interactive report