The Association for Progressive Communications (APC) welcomes the initiative by the IGF’s Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) to further develop the IGF’s intersessional work on “Policy Options for Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion(s)”.
We appreciate the opportunity to share our perspectives on some of the key aspects oriented to building an enabling environment for access to the internet. Focusing on examples of how access supports achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) underscores the importance of ensuring that increased access to infrastructure is coupled with efforts to address political, economic, social and cultural barriers that prevent people from fully using the potential of the internet. In this respect APC views costly, restricted or filtered internet access as not real access. Real access should provide an affordable and unconstrained service supported by net neutrality principles and free of censorship, surveillance, harassment, and any other form of violation of human rights.
In the course of APC’s work researching and supporting local access solutions, a wide variety of initiatives that help to address these needs have been identified. Thirteen of the most relevant examples are summarised in this submission.