The Internet can improve the quality of life for people everywhere. It can enable economic and social growth. But with only a little more than half of the world’s people with access, it does not include all of us.
Internet connectivity and access is a key enabler of economic and social development. It can improve access for the poor to financial services; it can help people with their education and empower them; it can give them a voice when they lack one.
Internet connectivity also enables the fulfillment and exercise of human rights. ICTs allow people to exercise their freedom of expression and other fundamental rights. Internet access is also central to the development agenda and to realizing the success of the Sustainable Development Goals. Lack of access compounds inequality, with many disadvantages for those left offline.
Closing the Internet access gap is a matter of social justice—and of global responsibility. We all must work together to bridge the digital divide and to foster an inclusive digital society.