Today, half of the global population still remains offline. The reality of the geographic divide is bleak: most of those offline are from low and middle income countries, and only 14% of rural areas have access compared to 42% in urban areas in countries of the Global South.
In order to achieve the universal goals for reducing inequality and achieving universal access by 2030, clear frameworks that can guide and speed up progress are crucial. The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), in partnership with APC, CIPESA, DEF and Facebook, developed the Rural Broadband Policy Framework (RBPF) to provide guidance to help address the persistent ‘Digital Divide’ faced by people living in rural areas.
Download the full brief (PDF).
Download the infographic (PDF).
Watch the framework launch event.
Explore case studies related to Framework elements
A cornerstone of modern economic policy is the notion that market competition encourages efficiency, drives innovation and investment, and helps consumers through increased choice, lower prices, and better service quality.
Although regulations can serve an important function, by their very nature they impose costs and burdens on regulated parties—including those operating in rural areas. Policymakers must carefully balance the costs and benefits of the rural broadband policies they promulgate.
A crucial component of any strategy to address the rural-urban digital divide is the provision of public access facilities. These include telecentres, community centres, post offices, libraries, and public WiFi networks that provide people with affordable or free access to computers, tablets, and other communication devices and associated services with an internet connection.
Innovation can help to shatter assumptions about the viability of potential rural broadband operations.
Tax policy is more than just a revenue-generating tool. Rather, a country’s tax structure helps to define incentives and disincentives for particular behaviours by those subject to taxation—be they corporations, organisations, or individuals.
- Read the blog here
- Related partner work:
- Global Information Society Watch 2019 – Artificial intelligence: Human rights, social justice and development – APC and Article 19
- Connecting Africa Through Broadband – Broadband Commission for Development