This roundtable session addresses the promotion of Internet access policies by innovating on regulatory frameworks that address both the access problem and the human rights dimension. The combination of market strategies, public policies and the intervention of community-driven efforts in many least developed countries and regions is a way forward to the challenges that surfaced at the roundtable organized last year about the how could Internet rights and access goals become reconciled. The way forward proposed then in the roundtable were in line with the recommendations from the Final Compilation document for “Connecting the Next Billion”, which stresses the need for an enabling environment, where “future connectivity efforts need to ensure that those coming online have access to the entire global and open Internet. Access should be universal, equitable, secure, affordable, and high-quality on the basis of human rights…”. (2015:31). The roundtable seeks to address the specific strategies that combine a public interest approach and the expertise deriving from the market sector and community initiatives.
Key questions for the debate: Which best practices in developed or developing countries provide good examples for striking these balances? How is government intervention envisaged in the development of policies and infrastructure for the next billion users? How adequate have Universal Service Funds been and what role should be foreseen for them? What’s the evidence of the impact of zero-rated programs on access and on human rights such as access to information and free expression? Are there successful community experiences that could be replicated in other contexts? How can empirical research further help advance the discussion beyond the statement of principles?
Speakers provisionally confirmed:
Bellagamba, Sebastián, ISOC
Perry Siena, APNIC
Casasbuenas, Julian, COLNODO APC
Estrada, Miguel Ignacio, Min. Modernización, Argentina
Galpaya , Helani, LIRNE ASIA
López, Fernando, ASIET
Gillwald, Alison, Research ICT Africa