OneWebDay 2015 – Connecting the Next Billion

OneWebDay, held on September 22 every year since 2006, is a global event aimed at giving all participants in this unprecedented turn in human evolution that is the Internet a chance not only to celebrate it, but also to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining the open-networking principles that have made it the success it is.

OneWebDay 2015 will be held on Tuesday 22 September 2015. The suggested theme for this year’s events is to Connecting the Next Billion. This aligns with current Internet Governance Forum (IGF) Intersessional Programme Policy Options for Connecting the Next Billion. It is considered by the e IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) that, while 3 billion are estimated to be online in 2015, “more effort is necessary in order to connect the next billion and to address the digital divide” and “Collaboration between governmental and non-governmental actors is key to meet this challenge.” It is felt that the tried and trusted multistakeholder approach, as exemplified by the IGF, is the only practical method to bring all shoulders to the wheel.

In a keynote speech at the USA IGF in July 2015, United States Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Catherine Novelli ably summed up this point of view, quoting a 2014 report from the Alliance for an Affordable Internet (A4AI) that delineated four critical aspects that any Government should consider as drivers of broadband expansion and affordable access: First, drive broadband infrastructure expansion through increased private investment and removal of barriers; Second, intensify competition and level the playing field to increase access, reduce cost and stimulate demand; Third, open access and infrastructure sharing; and fourth, enable access to spectrum. There’s no quick slogan here, but if any the unifying principal is OPEN ACCESS.

So for OneWebDay 2015, it is suggested that you review, and discuss Ms. Novelli’s remarks  (24 mins),


View on YouTube: https://youtu.be/rLgF6KjhDZY (captions available)
Prepared text: http://www.state.gov/e/rls/rmk/245011.htm
Verbatim transcript: http://isoc-ny.org/usaigf15/08-igf-usa2015-novelli.pdf

FURTHER VIEWING: At the IGF USA this was followed by a panel with reps from USAID, Facebook, Google, Comcast, A4AI, & the Internet Society who expanded on the Connecting the Next Billion theme (60 mins):


View on YouTube: https://youtu.be/3ACLPigSZ5o (captions available)
Verbatim transcript: http://isoc-ny.org/usaigf15/09-igf-usa2015-billion.pdf

ACTION: So, what can you do?
1) Post, link to, and discuss the themes above, in particular drawing them to the attention of your local regulators. Use hashtags #onewebday and #thenextbillion.
2) Participate in/contribute to the IGF Policy development process by making a written contribution

UPDATE
2 Sep 2015: The IGF draft overview & outline of ‘Policy Options for the Next Billion’ has been released today. It will be discussed at Open Consultation and MultiStakeholder Advisory Group meeting in Paris this week. Time: Thursday 3 September 13:00 UTC = 9:00 EDT | A webcast in both English and French will be available..

In the meeting on 2 September 2015, a question was asked as to the ‘Policy Options for the Next Billion’ process. ISOC’s Constance Bommelaer gave an update, see below: