Our History

Over a decade of advocacy work

Since the beginning, the Broadband Commission has continued to engage in high-level advocacy to promote universal connectivity. One of the central roles of the Commission is to leverage our high-profile Commissioners to advocate for higher priority to be given to the development of broadband infrastructure and services to ensure that the benefits of this technology are realized globally and to spread the message of Broadband for Sustainable Development at key events, conferences and functions.

To date, the Commission’s outcomes have included a State of Broadband report published annually since 2010, more than 30 Working Groups on thematic areas from health to education, and bi-annual meetings gathering Commissioners and leaders to track progress and plan action. The Commission has also been instrumental in launching global initiatives, including:

The Broadband Commission was Founded

In May 2010, the ITU and UNESCO established the Broadband Commission for Digital Development in response to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon's call to step-up UN efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

The aim of the Commission is to boost the importance of broadband on the international policy agenda and expand broadband access in every country, as key to accelerating progress towards national and international development targets. 

2010 - 2015
Thought Leadership & Calls to Action

5 State of Broadband Reports

1 Call to Action
Rio+20 Conference

3 Open Letters
G20 Meeting

1 Manifesto

12 Working Group Reports
Broadband & Science
Climate Change
Digital Health
Finance & Investment
Platforms for the SDGs

SDGs Established
Aligning with the United Nations

In September 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals replaced the Millennium Development Goals as the international policy framework for socio-economic development and poverty reduction.

In this year the Broadband Commission reassessed its targets to align with the SDGs, recognizing broadband as a fundamental element for achieving all 17 goals.

2016 - 2020
Thought Leadership & Calls to Action
10th Anniversary
Looking toward the Decade of Action

In 2020, the Broadband Commission celebrated its 10 year Anniversary by publishing a Special Edition of its flagship State of Broadband Report, in which it reexamines its policy recommendations and purpose.

In response to the COVID19 pandemic the Commission collaborated to produce the Agenda for Action, initiatives and applications to address the crisis.

Finally, the Universal Connectivity Goal was established in the Commission's newly released Universal Connectivity Manifesto.

2021 - Present
In Action
The Broadband Commission Today

With over 50 Commissioners representing international organizations, the private sector, governments and civil society, the Commission continues its work to realize its goal of Universal Connectivity.

2 State of Broadband Reports
People-Centred Approaches to Universal Broadband
Accelerating broadband for new realities

Published Working Group Reports:
21st-Century Financing Models
Digital Learning
Epidemic Management
Virtual Health & Care
Smartphone Access
AI Capacity Building

Current Working Groups include:
Connectivity for MSMEs
Data for Learning

3 Open Letters

LDC5 Conference
HLPF 2022
Transforming Education Summit