Facilitating equality through access to unrestricted communication
At the moment, around 40% of the world population is not using the internet. The technical implications that first come to mind, like realizing connectivity in new areas, is just the beginning of the story.
Major obstacles preventing people from using available internet connectivity are affordability of usage and a lack of necessary knowledge and skills. These obstacles render the available connectivity options unusable and thus result in inequality and digital divides.
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Facilitate universal and affordable access to the internet
Even though around 95% of the world population is covered by some form of connectivity, roughly 40% of the world population is still not using the internet. A substantial part of this offline population lives in the world's most vulnerable countries. In a lot of rural and remote regions of these countries, connectivity is not available. This is caused by the high costs of setting up internet access points in these regions. This is further affected by the lack of grid electricity. Right now, there is not enough commercial incentive to connect these areas. These are large hurdles that need cooperation to be overcome.
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Facilitate higher educational levels and digital literacy
The offline population is disproportionally poor, rural, uneducated, elderly, and female. For these groups, the lack of necessary knowledge and skills to use available connectivity is a big obstacle. Research shows that education levels indicate whether or not people will use the internet. Higher education levels have a large impact on raising internet usage. Digital literacy and the knowledge and skills to maintain the available connectivity is another important facilitator of access to unrestricted communication.
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Facilitate unrestricted opportunities in communication
For some people who have the necessary access and education, there are still restrictions imposed. These can be privacy restrictions or usage restrictions imposed by a variety of parties including companies and governments. How and when the available communication is used should be a free choice, and not a consequence of circumstances. Raising awareness that such restrictions exist and how to protect your personal data will be a step forward to making communication more equal.