Broadband Commission 2021 Year in Review

Progress on Universal Connectivity in 2021

Over the course of this year, the Broadband Commission has developed new thought leadership on the addressing the barriers to reaching its goal of Universal Connectivity. Through the work of our high-level Commissioners, we have published papers, developed policy recommendations and provided practical applications for advancing global affordability, access and use of broadband.

New data from the ITU Facts and Figures 2021 shows that the estimated number of people who have used the internet has risen 17% since the start of the pandemic, to 4.9B, in 2021 from 4.1B in 2020. However, despite this increase in Internet access and adoption, increased efforts and global digital cooperation are needed to ensure success and concrete movement towards universal connectivity. The Commission continues to produce relevant outputs to guide the policy discussion around connectivity.

Our Year-in-Review Newsletter shares the Commission’s outputs in 2021 as well as the related work of our Commissioners. Stay tuned for more updates in 2022 for more relevant updates on the State of Broadband, news from our partners and updates from the Commission’s current Working Groups on Virtual Health & CareSmartphone AccessAI Capacity Building and Data for Learning in 2022.

Outputs of the Year

New Commissioners

Looking Ahead to 2022

For a full list of upcoming events and campaigns, check out our Events Calendar

ITU

UN Events

Global MBB Forum

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Broadband Commissioners at the 2024 WEF Annual Meeting in Davos

Many Broadband Commissioners attended the WEF Annual Meeting this year to bring the issues of digital inclusion, new technologies as a driving force for the economy and society and universal connectivity center stage. Covering topics from, the future of AI, e-government services, space connectivity and more, they presented insightful discussions and shared innovative strategies aimed at closing the digital divide and promoting equal access to the internet as a means of advancing the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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Commissioners at COP28 promote Green Digital Action

Many members of the Broadband Commission and representatives of their entities participated in COP28, including the Honourable Prime Minister Mia Mottley, Ms Doreen Bogdan- Martin, Ms Rabab Fatima, Ms Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Mr Filippo Grandi and others. Below are selected events highlighting their participation and contributions to the conference in the area of ICT for Development (ICT4D).

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Making the case for digital connectivity for MSME’s at UNCTAD e-Week

On 7 December 2023, the Broadband Commission Working Group on Connectivity for MSMEs, co-chaired by ITC and GSMA, hosted an in-person session at UNCTAD eWeek to explore the findings of their recent report, “Making Connectivity Work for MSMEs”, and discuss how improved uptake and usage of digital connectivity, especially for e-commerce, supports development.