IGF 2022 Day 4 WS #352 Youth lenses on Meaningful Access and Universal Connectivity

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.



>> MODERATOR:  Hello everyone, welcome to the session.  My name is Nicholas Fiumarelli.  We have a very interesting conversation today with some expert speakers here, I will present the speakers.  We have many speakers on meaningful access.  We have Nigel Hickson main speaker for multilingualism and acceptance paster and so we have our online speaker Adarsh Bu who give advice on connectivity and Nicholas Echaniz who will talk about alternative models and community networks and challenges be about it.  And we will have Joshua Ayayi there from the youth alliance and he will be our main online moderator, so starting with the session.

Well, this session was youth‑led session that we try to bring these expert speakers to talk about two or four different topics as I said.  And there are meaningful access and universal connectivity.  There are several key factors that we have seen from different policy networks on meaningful access and we know that it's not only about access, right.  Well, this is a concept that is evolving in time and what does evolution mean to the policy, so how to define universal and meaningful access, there are several aspects that constitute them.  For example, when we talk about universal acceptance, that would be about internationalize and domain names and that could be use about quality of services, digital skills in the society.  So, we know that there are several key elements.

I would start then asking your opinion, Bia how it can be measured with meaningful access and the policy issues or key elements with regard to achieving meaningful access.  I will share some slides that I have.

>> Thank you, Nicholas.  Thank you very much for the invitation.  Good afternoon or good evening hover is watching us online.  Good morning.  First, I would like to thank you for the invitation and explain that I'm here replacing Haquel a lawyer and technical term the information and coordination center of.br in Brazil since 2005 is responsible for the administrative and operational functions related to.br in Brazil and Raquel was pregnant when this was proposed and in November the baby were born but they are well in Brazil, and given task of replacing her.  From another contribution to this, the Brazilian Internet steering committee I'm one of the 21 members representing Civil Society and Brazilian steering committee, the CGI establishes guide line for the operation of the NIC which is currently made up of six research centers and houses the W3C chapters.  For us the debate of the universalization of Internet access is a priority, being one of the main principles for Internet governance and use in Brazil which governs the work of the Internet steering committee.  For CGI, Internet access must be universal, so that it can be a means of social and human development contribution to the construction of an inclusive, nondiscriminatory society and for the benefit of all.

However, as you mentioned, in the description of this workshop itself, it states that the concept of universal access has evolved over time and in evidence increasingly indicates that access to connectivity is not sufficient on its own and while access to infrastructure is critical, without the access being inclusive, useful, sustainable and affordable and link to human capacity development in relevant content that can make it so, it would not achieve the positive potential.  People and institutions from all sector and stakeholder groups should reflect on connectivity in holistic way that takes into account how people are able to make use of connectivity once they do have access, in other words, for access to the Internet to make a meaningful contribution, to improving people's life for strengthening national economies, it has to be approached in another way.

But what we are talking about when we use the concept of meaningful access or meaningful connectivity, so I would like to ask you to share the screen.  Yeah.  Here I will bring in the concept used by the alliance for the affordable Internet, who is doing amazing work to make this concept flourish in the world.

For the alliance, these are the four pillars of meaningful connectivity.  The first one is a 4G‑like speed and understand that a 4G mobile connection is the minimum threshold that can give us the speeds we need to have the experience we want.  Analysis shows that we need investment today of 428‑billion dollars globally to achieve universal access to 4G equivalent quality by 2030, which means downloads at a minimum of 10, and DPS around 57% of total investment cost to close the connectivity gap by 2030 and corresponds to the investment needed in 25 top countries like India, China, Brazil as well, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Mexico, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Egypt, Democratic Republic of Congo and others.

Another pillar of meaningful connectivity would be an appropriate device.  A4AI to experience the full power of the Internet, we need right device for task at hand.  A smart phone would give us the functionality to create and consume content in a way that basic phones don't.  In the portability to use Internet anywhere; so ideally, we will have access to a range of device types, but only if you have only mobile, it has to be a smart phone.  A third pillar of the concept of meaningful connectivity is unlimited broadband connection.  Today data caps prevent people from doing certain online tasks or force them to wait until they can connect to public WiFi, for example.  A limited broadband connection at home or places of work gives us reliable access in daily lives to use the full breadth of the Internet potential.  However, at the current rate of growth according to the national broadband commission, 75% of population should have access to broadband by 2025.  Sale reports from international organizations focus on global to achieve universal access by 2030.  But in Brazil, for example, 90% of the most poor part of our society have only access to the Internet through their cell phones, which is very limited data package that lasts according to one recent research at survey that was organized by Civil Society organization, lasts only 21 days a month.

Finally, it has to do with the data that I just gave you, a fourth pillar for meaningful connectivity would be the daily use, so connecting occasionally is not enough.  Daily access to the Internet is minimum that we need.  We need to see the real benefits for work, education, and communication.

The ITU, however, considers an Internet user someone who has connected at least once in the last three months under any conditions, so if you consider this indication, for example, it's incredible, right.  If we consider this indication, we will have in Brazil, we would have in Brazil more than 80% of the Internet users, more than 80% of the population could be considered users of Internet, but this is really not the reality of the country, right.  I think one of the first challenges that we have related to public policy change in these indicators is when what we call someone ‑‑ we consider someone an Internet user.

But meaningful connectivity is only one facet of what we can call meaningful access, and I'm sorry for the slide to be in Portuguese, but in addition to connection conditions, we need to consider affordability in a socially favorable environment for Internet development in use.  Affordability needs to consider, for example, the minimum waging of people in each country, in Brazil for example, the people we can consider to have a significant access earn at least three times more than the minimum wage.  The other aspect of the meaningful access is the socially favorable environment.  But in my country, for example, more than 120,000 students go to schools that don't even have access to electricity, to power.  Another that has to be considered in Internet of use, the inequities of race, gender, class, and in many countries, race and ethnicity that impact how citizens take advantage of the Internet's full potential, so to advance digital equality, we need to understand not only inequality Internet, but get a full understanding of how women, for example, experience online, experiences online diverge from men.  And a woman‑centric policies approach, not only requires adequate gender‑based data to inform policy, but as the participating and expertise of gender process.

For most part of us here, the subject is not new.  We have been discussing it for decades, including the IGF, and today we already know what works and what is needed to connect more people and for everyone to enjoy the benefits of the Internet.  The problem is to make it happen.  What is stopping us to move from policy recommendation to policy implementation?  Two minutes more?  Yeah.  Thank you.

You can stop sharing the screen.  It's fine.  So, I just would like to invite you to know the policy network on meaningful access that has been launched last year created in 2021 in the IGF process.  It's a policy network that aims to provide in‑depth look at why achieving meaningful and universal Internet access remains so challenging in spite of years of efforts by policymakers and other actors from all stakeholder groups.

I think we need a multistakeholder environment and spaces to really understand why all the knowledge that we have and the path that we need to follow to arrive in public policies that really guarantee meaningful access or at least meaningful connectivity to be implemented.  I mean the multistakeholder spaces are very important to guarantee this kind of implication.  In Brazil, for example, in the CGI, we have a multistakeholder chamber that's called chamber of universalization and digital inclusion, and that is formed by 16 members far from each of the sectors representing the CGI, so the public authority companies, academia, and civil society.  In one of the debates on the agenda is how to move forward to change access indicator used globally by the ITU, and why we're also considering in Brazilian public policies.  So, we need to change these indicators to show the concrete reality of Internet access and use by Brazilians, and we invite you to do the same in other countries.

To finish, I would like to share with you because it has to do with the other topics that we'll debate here today, the ‑‑ we'll also move forward from 2023 on the debate about community networks based on research that the CGI has just launched called community Internet networks in Brazil implementation experience and challenges for digital inclusion.  The research highlights that it's possible to foster policies that support implication models capable of listening to the population served, able to put connectivity products together with the community.  This is the core of community networks which aims to bring Internet access to places with little infrastructures and services to regions where its commercially models are not sustainable.

So, we invite you to know that our research as well, and to work in your own countries to build multistakeholder spaces to make these policies a reality.  Thank you very much.

   >> NICOLAS FIUMARELLI:  Thank you so much.  You mentioned things super important like this, about the Internet and about the gender right, and the daily use, so we have seen several things that there is the cost of connection and so other examples about this research and the possibility for community networks.

Now we are going to a different topic, but it's all interrelated, so we have Nigel here to talk about multilingualism and some other key aspects that came out with the meaningful access universal connectivity that is more with the language we speak, right.  I'm passing the floor for Nigel right now.

   >> NIGEL HICKSON:  Thank you very much, indeed.  Yeah.  I'm just a government official, so don't believe anything I say.  But, no, I work for the UK Government in the Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport, and thank you so much for inviting me to say a few words this afternoon.  I suppose having been in the government for 40 years or whatever, in and out for 40 years, you pick up a bit of the ‑‑ you pick a bit up of the issues.  Internet connectivity has been, if you like a main stay agenda item on the government priorities ever since the Internet started to become available.

I'll start by telling you a story of how important ‑‑ no.  I'm sorry.  How the situation we've reached today is incredible when you consider where we started.  When we started adopting the Internet in the UK in the early 90s in the late 80s, no one had really heard of what the Internet could do.  Government official, ministers, were not really interested.  I remember one minister when I tried to get him to go to a conference, this was at the time when some of the Internet companies were just about starting.  He could have met some important people at the time.  He said, well, you know, surely the Internet is a bit like skateboarding, and I said like skateboarding?  I don't think the Internet is like skateboarding.  He said yes, dear boy, dear boy, it's like skateboarding, it will go out of fashion soon.  Well, that's interesting because skateboarding probably hasn't gone out of fashion either, but certainly the Internet has not either.

And I suppose in those early years, we were filled with optimism, in the early 90s, the Internet could do no long.  I mean true, not that many people were connected to it, and we were rolling out programs for schools, putting computers into village halls, we were going around the country telling local authorities to put some of their services online and to provide connectivity.

You know, it was an exciting time.  I suppose then we thought, well, you know, inevitably technology will allow all the world to come online.  Now, I mean we weren't that naive, and obviously in developing countries without electricity, et cetera, et cetera, you know, there were obviously challenges then as there are challenges now.  I think we thought in 20 years’ time or 30 years’ time we would have solved these problems; you know, we would have had more of the world's population online.

But we still have challenges, as has been outlined, and you know in terms of the meaningful connectivity that you rightly exposed or rightly spoke about, there are incredible challenges.

And I suppose in government, and I was talking at a session this morning, and I reflected on some of the messages from the UK IGF, from our own you know UK IGF, and it's very funny because we were talking about the digital divide.  And I mean you might think well, you know, those people in UK and Europe, why are they talking about the digital divide, it's okay for them.  They haven't got a digital divide.  But, we have.  I mean it's true that in terms of connectivity, you know, most people and not everyone, if you live on top of a mountain in Scotland or something, you know there are some areas still that haven't got connectivity, but by and large if you want connectivity, you can have it in the UK whether it's mobile or broadband or whatever.

But 6% of the population, 6% of the population in the UK see no reason to connect to the Internet.  Now, you know, that is a big number.  Now, some of those are like me getting on a bit and didn't perhaps grow up in the Internet generation.  I don't think my 96‑year‑old father really understands the Internet.  But that's still a large percentage of people that are not online in the UK, and as I say, they're not ‑‑ it's not that they're not online because they can't be connected.  It's because either they don't see a reason to be online, they're concerned about their data, or they just, you know, are not really attracted to what the Internet can offer.  Or perhaps in terms of expense or things like that.  Although I must admit that's probably not such a factor in the UK with affordability.

But we have to address these problems, and I think of concept of meaningful connectivity is so important because it's no point preaching to people about embracing the information society, embracing the Internet if we give them connections which are not sufficient, and you know I'm not arguing with you because 4G or you know, I'm not an expert to argue what speed is meaningful or not, but clearly if we're concerned about meaningful connectivity as so many governments here in Africa and elsewhere and ITU in the Broadband Commission and Internet Society that does such incredible work, if we're really interested in meaningful connectivity, then we have to ensure that we have the skills, we have the affordability and the other attributes that are mentioned.

I was going to mention just a couple of statistics from the ITU that just came out a week or so ago, and again perhaps these are just statistics from the ITU that 2.7 million people roughly one‑third of the global population remains unconnected, so 2.7‑billion people is just unacceptable, isn't it?  Only 60% of women are using the Internet in 2022 compared to 69% of men.  Again, you know, gender disparity.  Three quarters of the global population age 10 and over now own a mobile phone.

So, we are getting there in terms of mobile penetration, but there is so much to do.  And the youth age 15 to 24 years are the driving force of connectivity with 70% of young people worldwide now able to use the Internet.  70% ‑‑ 75% of 15 to 24‑year‑olds.  So, there is a mixture of if you like hope but challenges still in this domain.

But let me just go on and say a couple of things about multilingualism because that's something I understand a bit more in terms of the technical side of things.  So, I worked for ICANN for a number of years, I left the government and came back to the government, and I'm not sure why.  But anyway, so I worked for ICANN for a number of years, and what really excited me about domain names, and I didn't think anything would excite me about domain names really, but what really excited me about domain names was international domain names.  It was the ability to have people to communicate, to innovate, to do whatever they wanted online in their own languages and in their own scripts.  This, I think, is fundamental to the Internet of the future.  I mean no point in us going back and saying when Internet was created, why wasn't it multilingual from day one, we're not going to solve that debate.  But we now have the opportunity through international domain names, which can be both in relation to country codes and generic codes or dot com or dot EU or UK or FR, but we can now ensure that we have international domain names and that is something which I think is really, really positive, and ICANN and the community that feed ICANN if you like, ought to be congratulated for the work that's gone on.  There is many, many people here in Africa, India, China, in Russia, and elsewhere that have dedicated so much time to be able to have international domain names in non‑scripts, non‑European scripts.

So, I think that's really a positive point.  But and that will continue, and ICANN is going forward in terms of a new application realm, possibly in 2024, which will allow other international domain names to come forward.  That's the positive side.

The negative side, if you like, one of the challenges is something we call universal acceptance.  That's the problem you might well have a domain name in a script, but is that domain name accessible, can you use that domain name to connect to the wider Internet, can you go on to social media, can you go on to public services, can you order taxes, can you order food, can you do the things that you would expect to do in London or New York or Frankfurt or Geneva or wherever, can you do it in your own script in that's the challenges.  To many of us, I think we feel it's unacceptable that you can't do that because the technical solutions are there.  There are no technical barriers to enabling all the servers and all the different web servers and resolvers, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, that make up the architecture of the Internet.  There is no reason why they can't be adapted, upgraded to ensure that they accept scripts.  But, of course, there are challenges in everything that we do.

The final point of this is it's not just different scripts.  It's also longer domain names.  So, when we have an application round in ICANN in 2012 and 1670 applicants with new names, resulting in 1580 or whatever it was now of new generic top‑level domains and used to be 22 before 2012 and now 1500 so you can have dot bank, dot xyz and such for all of these things, but you know and can you have dot Berlin and dot London and all of these things.  There are lots and lots of domain names.  But what happened, what was found is that if you made your domain name too long, you know, six or seven characters, so if instead of just having Paris, you had north Paris or whatever, and some bus companies had their own name stage coach for instance, you know, they found also that those names were not compatible with the technology of the Internet.

So, those challenges are ahead of us, but because of the excellent work that people put in, I'm sure we're going to solve many of these issues.  Thank you.

   >> JOSHUA AYAYI:  Yes.  Thank you.  And I want to say for those of you online, if you have any questions, comments, just drop them in the chat as well.  I'm getting to the last minutes of the meeting, and we will open the floor for audience to ask their questions.  Also, for a survey, basically on mentimeter.com, just get ready and open it and we'll announce the code where you can put your answers for the questions.

   >> NICOLAS FIUMARELLI:  Thank you.  Joshua.  On the last 10 minutes we will have a poll on the screen that can you access on the mobile phone, online and on site can access and it's a beautiful experiment to finish talking a bit with some of the key points.

Thank you, Nigel, for your insights.  The local content also in the languages are issues that are very important for connecting the rest of the people to the Internet because people need to learn English to access the Internet sometimes, so they need to write in characters, or Latin characters, you know, the keyboards with different sets so it's difficulty for them.  It's a reality and maybe that is one of the main challenges for having the next billion connected to the Internet, right.  That could be something to work on.

But there are other challenges, so we are now facing to others from India, and our experts in rural connectivity, Adarsh has been a Chair of the ISOC rural development special interest group, and you know that the Internet Society is changing every year the special interest group based on the community feedback, and the rural development is one that the special interest group that doesn't exist anymore, but Adarsh has participated for several years in developing for a rural community.  Adarsh, you have like 10 minutes to comment on what are the challenges for the specific rural communities and how to work with them, and also about the education activity.  The floor is yours, Adarsh.

   >> ADARSH BASAVAPURA UMESH:  Sure.  Thank you.  Hi, everyone.  Thank you for introducing me.  It was a pleasure to explain what we have to face with respect to rural sector.  It's a bit of a difference that colleagues -- the statistics that what the billion numbers that we will see, so unconnected ones of the digital divide, most from the rural areas, which is like completely remote access, but zero access, but it's like a lot of challenges will be there, so completely the difference with respect to the urban and rural sectors, so as we're seeing it, what is the major challenge with respect, so I would like to go through what are the kind of different challenges, major challenges, what are the advantages we can bring and with respect to the stability.

Policies we can bring in so that makes each and everyone the rights to access the Internet as like a moo meaningful way.  Internet access like affordability is the major one concern, so it is like in cost of service and devices, so when we discuss and much more in the rural sectors, rural areas, the lack of access points and quality, and even the speed of the network is also plays major role.  A lot of Internet services there, the speed comes in, and even due to the ‑‑ like due in cities like rural areas due to the natural calamities and weather conditions there could be chances and possibilities of Internet speed goes down.

So, this is a lot of challenges, and even they have faced and even the second thing is like with respect to the digital skills.  So, once they have access, time limitations may come in and such like digital skill, language barrier, and even the information overload, and even as far as like impacting the way for them to extend those with access to the use of the Internet.

So, third thing is like missing local content, so everyone, the rural areas, when we mention about certain ‑‑ not everyone knows about the language, like especially the English.  So much more everyone is familiar with their local languages, if you choose a country like India, multiple local languages will be there.  So, each and every area with respect to the rural areas, so the local languages not available in English and not much more languages and face completely like Internet ‑‑ completely as like the barrier for them, so like they can't access other than the local language, so that is also one of the major barriers for them like if missing the local content so that is much more which is important.

So, the fourth thing which comes up in mind is like the restricted access and use, and so this is really much interesting, a lot of different from the urban and rural sector and so in people, especially the youth, the community and family context when we look into it, if there is a rural woman, wants to participate in the access of the Internet and wants to buy a smart phone, and the feel the family members are not agreeing because they won't feel that safe.  So, it is like an extent of an optimal use of their ability to address the challenge, and many especially teens and women are described that with respect to the accessing these devices, there is untrustable one, so they can't access the Internet without the device and all.

So, this is like restricted access, that is the one more maimer concern with respect to rural aspects.

And the safety and privacy concerns, so safety and privacy, with we look at it, limbed Internet use, so participants are making aware of the dangers which are found in online and rumors that are like in fake news, and even such as like in scamming either through duplication of personal data.  These are the things when so the rural is the first up with just to get scared, so with respect to the safety concerns and the way to the privacy concerns.  That's one more point which is keeping them ‑‑ which is far away from the access of the Internet.  In addition to all of these, did a lot of things bring the Internet to each and every rural area, a lot of benefits could bring so among it could be like the business, so the business like in rural area can eventually expand the business into the market, outside the limitation, so that helps with respect to the digitalization.

So even the speed of the Internet makes it easy for them and as per the education as well.  Education similar to the textbook without textbook in the school the education won't run.  In the same way to be rights for everyone to access it and learn it and make use of it.  This is what is Internet access required and like supported by broadband, Internet and frequently undergoes with respect to public interest and involvement.

And so, also, there are like a lot of recommendations that we can keep up with respect to the ‑‑ keeping in the rural in mind so one is like an infrastructure, so infrastructure always have room for the implementation, so we need to focus on the expanding the speed of the Internet and expanding the network throughout the areas, that are different.  So also, the public awareness is very, very important with respect to the rural, so because the local people won't have an idea how to verify the fake news, how to like entrust the things, so like the awareness is much more important regarding the significance of the Internet usage and how it use the maximum out of the high-speed Internet and communities, especially particularly.

So, prices and package also we have to keep in mind being offered in rural area, especially to be affordable that some people will think they can go without it, like without it and at least get familiar with the eventually taking the benefits around it.

So, if we look into some of the recommendations with respect to policymakers, we need to engage the rural communities much more.  We need to understand, so in the discussions of how much rural communities present, so this is with respect to technology and even multistakeholderism we consider, so need to keep in mind that even rural plays major roles and we need to encourage in the policy agenda.  And also, we have to input the meaningful connectivity as part, and also, we have to leverage the public access solutions.

So, which is very much important that we need to consider.  This is like I would like to share, yeah, over to you, Nicholas.  Thank you, everyone.

   >> NICOLAS FIUMARELLI:  Thank you so much.  I think you raised several important points because we know that the ones that use the Internet know the capabilities that the Internet offers, right, like for example you can measure different things, temperature, climate, a lot of things that could be helpful really for the rural.  But there are these risks as you mention that they maybe don't feel comfortable, so it's a very, he have complicated work to get to the digital skills necessary for them for achieving the connectivity, and also all the challenges in terms of having good speeds in the rural areas depending on the nature I think could be difficult.  Very important points you mention and I cannot say all of them because you talk about very different things.

Now, we are going to Nicholas Echaniz, and he told me that he was, hopefully you can show you are there.  Part of Artimundi, nonprofit organization in measuring community networks with some key points on how to advance on these alternative solutions for marketing, for connectivity models.  Nicholas, I see you there.  Beautiful day also in Argentina.  Well, please, tell us a little ‑‑ tell us a little about the community networks and your challenge, the floor is yours.

   >> NICOLAS ECHANIZ:  Some things that I think we need to address.  One of them that I think is important is that when we mention meaningful connectivity, it can be considered when we have 4G connection as a minimum, I think this is tricky, and I actually think it's dangerous to use as a measure.  4G connect, I mean we should say 10 mega bit per second download and maybe also 10 mega bit upload and we never talk about upload speeds and that's one of the biggest problems with mobile connectivity for 4G or any other alternative, but it's not just that.  We all know that, for example, in Latin America, mobile connectivity is always limited in very strange and artificial manners, like for example if you buy, I don't know, five gigabytes of traffic, they expire.  No?  Like as if, for example, you were to buy food and you get the food to your home, and then if you don't eat your food, then the supermarket comes and takes to do from the refrigerator because it's not valid for you to consume anymore.  That's what happens with mobile connectivity, mostly in Latin America.

It's also limited to outside connectivity, people limited in homes, in rural areas, usually have little to no connectivity.  It really doesn't make sense to speak about meaningful connectivity and talk about 4G as a measure.

Considering that, there is also the problem of if we want to consider mobile as the base, then what we must consider is regular broadband connectivity, and in rural areas it's really very difficult to get broadband connectivity to the houses, and this is expressed by the GSMA report stating that if they cannot secure at least 5,000 clients, they cannot deploy their networks because it's not affordable, it's not feasible.

And so that leaves us with, I think, mostly two or three options.  One of them is small providers.  It's usually a family business, a family‑run business.  These are usually services that are lacking in quality and expensive in price.  This brings the need for the state to help out, and in some countries, for example, in Argentina, we have a big network, a big backbone network provided by the country, by the state, and this network has more than 30,000 kilometers of fiber all over the country, but the state cannot provide connectivity to the houses.  They usually bring connectivity to the border of our villages.  And then it requires providers to get to the fiber node with fiber, so this creates a new problem where providers in small areas are usually working with wireless technology and they are asked by government to deploy a kilometer of fiber network, and this is usually impossible for them or very difficult.

What we think is that we need to work together, community networks with the state and small providers.  Community networks have the opportunity to work together for a better service at a lower price, and they can usually find a means to get to interconnect to the fiber backbones.

For example, here in our own town in Kingana, we have a neighboring village where we have a fiber node, and this fiber node has been here installed by the government for over a year, and no provider had connected to the node, and not only had no provider connected to it, but the node itself is placed on a public school, and the public school has no Internet connection.  The Internet connection for the school is brought by the community network and not by the state network which is located there.

What we're working on now is to create this small IXP, a small Internet exchange point that will be administered by community networks in our area but it will be possible also for small providers and comparative providers and for small village state‑owned providers so that they can get to central tower here in the IXP and then interconnect to the state fiber easily.

What we think is that this should be adopted in other regions, and in Argentina in particular, we have not only a national state‑owned network but as a state‑owned network of the province and we are working on developing such IXPs that can interconnect to this network for the benefit of all the small providers, and the benefit of all the small providers is what actually will benefit the people in this region.

Another thing that I think is very, very important is to get enough funds for the community networks, and also here in Argentina, we were able to create a program which as far as I know is the first program from a government that is dedicated to funding only community networks with money from the universal service fund, and this is I think another initiative that would be very interesting to be adopted in other regions.

I'm sorry for my complicated participation.  This helped a bit.  I am open to questions later.  Thanks a lot.

   >> NICOLAS FIUMARELLI:  Thank you.  Very helpful and you mention add lot of key challenges in connecting with IXPs themselves and for example to have small Internet service providers that could be also comparative, so you mentioned these alternative things that could be very helpful to connect the ones that are very isolated and in small groups, right, in sort of the same if you have a big population of people in the rural area as having a small population like maybe 30 houses there isolated in some place so really the government or Internet service providers are not getting in there, so you really need to find and very good thing you mention about having a node but no service provider connecting to the node.  At the end it's a problematic of profitability for the Internet service providers or for the governments, and we need to find ‑‑ or the communities need to find alternative models to connect to create this comparative kind of things.

So, now following that, following online and on‑site attendance, if you have your mobile phone at hand, go to Menti.com and enter the following code which I will share with you, that is 5843 2996, and my online moderator also has put it in the chat.  I will share the screen.  I will give the floor to Joshua to mention some.  Questions we have in the chat and open the floor to the chat and open the floor to the speakers.  The floor.

   >> JOSHUA AYAYI:  We.  We have two questions in the chat from the same person.  He says first, many countries are faced with a lack of devices, and just give me a few second.  Yeah, so many countries are faced with a lack of devices, weak infrastructure, low levelings of digital literacy and digital skills.  What steps should be taken to tackle these issues?  And as a follow‑up to that question, he's asking what is the role of the youth in solving issues in this regard?

   >> NICOLAS FIUMARELLI:  I think this is a question for others more related with the digital skills and then I will answer the part of the youth.  Adarsh, please go ahead.

   >> ADARSH BASAVAPURA UMESH:  Sure.  So, thanks for this question.  So, what are the key elements that constitute universal and meaningful Internet access and what are the challenges to face?  So, the key element is first thing like having like with respect to like the Internet access with the speed access.  So, the first thing is like having an access, we talk access having a digital skill, having like the local content trying or whatever the providers use.  First thing we need, we must provide unit access with infrastructure.  Second thing is not only providing infrastructure, but how to sustain it for the longer term, so it has to go on.

Second, as in addition to the secretary step, we need to provide digital skill for the local especially keeping in mind the rural blind about the Internet, what the Internet is, and that is what we want to give the digital skill and awareness skill with respect to the automators.

So, and the question I have like, so this is very, very important, so they have like a lot of rural areas and all we have seen, so there is an Internet change available but they don't have the devices, so most of the youth, especially in the rural, so considering like around 60% or 70% of youth don't use mobile phones so completely out of the electronic devices, and even not ‑‑ forget about the computer or laptop or even basic gadgets like mobile phone don't have at all.  So that is the basic important thing of how can we, because if we have instruction and gadget and how can we access Internet.  Even with local content data, so they can go without accessing Internet, these are the kind of challenges that we need to look into and resolve the things.  I hope that answers.

   >> NICOLAS FIUMARELLI:  On the part of the youth also, think that something important is to say that the youth, for example, when they are learning, they are the most active user we have seen in the Internet, so they are the most effective also.  But they are the ones with the solutions and sometimes they can have this leadership like in the communities and can talk with the main people in the rural areas, for example, and tell them that okay we can form a competitive and find a better way or digital education, a program or maybe an app for the children.  So, there are many things that the youth have the skills to start doing and helping all the community.  I think that is a good way to follow to the next.  Right.  I don't know whether the panelists have some reflections on this topic, or if you disagree?  Now is the time.

>> May I?  Thank you.  I just would like to briefly comment on one of the topics that the other speakers mentioned.  The things about the it goes inclusive beyond the Internet because if you look at what is going on in this IGF, for example, we are ‑‑ we have to speak English to be part of the discussion, part of the debate, and this excludes already the ‑‑ the most part of people that, of course, doesn't speak English, but it excludes the already excluded part of our society that doesn't have access to education, doesn't have access to learn foreign language, including for us from Latin America it's not obvious to speak in English.

And then if we consider the IGF a very important space for debate and build another perspective from the multistakeholder Internet governance and start excluding people that don't speak English or other global languages to put this way, which I don't like, we're not solving the problem.  We're deepening inequality, right.

So, what about anymore las, and nice to see you, it's been a while, with he met each other, but I think it's super ‑‑ I totally agree with him how it is to use the idea of 4G and mobile connection as a baseline for meaningful connectivity, but so if we put higher standard on this it would show how far we are further from the perspective of a really meaningful access to the most part of the population, right.

And our colleague from India mentioned about engaging the rural community on this agenda and I just would like to share that in Brazil, for example, we had for the first time women representative from the rural workers as a member of the committee on consumer rights in the national telecommunications agency in Brazil, so the first time that we have this opportunity to not only speak for the rural area but have a real representative from this community in the committee, and it's very ‑‑ it has been very ‑‑ to note all the challenges that they face.  And about the youth role in this pro sets, I totally agree with you Nicholas, and I think that the Youth Internet Governance Forum process gives us each year many examples of how it's important to really establish a place around the tabling for the youth not only to be treated as users or head users of the Internet, but as part of the response that we they'd to give.

   >> JOSHUA AYAYI:  Yes.  Thank you so much for that answer.  Please, if anyone is here and wants to give a comment or question, you are warmly welcome to do so.  Okay.

   >> AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Thank you.  From Brazil and also work with Ms. Beatrice.  I was wondering on the comment that was made I think with the British citizens almost 6% are not really intending to get connected to the Internet.  I would like to hear from you how can we perhaps approach this aspect to in given framework of meaningful access.  For instance, we have submitted proposal to the IGF that we would like to bring to shape the concept, and it wasn't approve.  Despite they said it was excellent feedback and so on, but I mean how can we really make sure that I want to be meaningfully connected and for what and which purposes.

   >> NIGEL HICKSON:  Thank you very much.  Great to see brass I will in force.  I won't mention the football.  I'm not sure.  (Laughing).

I think there are many reasons perhaps that many people do not connect.  I mean clearly connectivity at the core is incredibly important.  If you don't have connectivity, let's not worry about the affordability of the device if you can't connect at all.

But what I also think we have to take into consideration is people's perception of the value of the Internet.  Now, when I talked to my daughter about this, she doesn't really understand what I'm talking about because she said without the Internet, I couldn't live, you know.  Certainly, couldn't adopt such a busy schedule perhaps, social schedules, but you know I think one of the problems that we face is we see people that do not simply want to connect anymore because of what we perceive to be the dominance of certain platforms and you know that they just don't like the way that the platforms conduct their business and you know I'm not commenting on that, but that in some research we find this.  Some people are petrified about their data being stolen, and I think this also applies not so much to perhaps young people who are Savvy away to find ways of not doing this, but to people of the older generation, they are told of scams and daily phishing and told by the daily newspaper if you are approached by the bank, tell them to go away, approached by the tax office, it's not the tax office, if you're approached by the local supermarket, it's not the supermarket, and this means that people sort of shy away.

For you, during the pandemic, we saw a bit of the opposite effect that people were coming on to the Internet because of they wanted the services which they couldn't go outside for, but so I think we have to address all of these, but I just waffle on it but we need to address the fundamental points that have been pointed out today but as need to address trust, and that is also fundamental.

   >> NICOLAS FIUMARELLI:  We are closing the session.  Thank you so much for all your insight.  We don't have time for more questions.  But I want to mention from the Youth Coalition we will submit a contribution to the global digital compact and PNMI working group and to mention some of the key points of the relating with the session, affordable connectivity by 2030 that is something that would be good challenge for the following years, and also I can mention the issue of building a more effective architecture for digital cooperation and issue of strengthening the digital capacity building that is related also with the digital skills needed to be part of the Internet or digital citizen and also in the way of ensuring digital inclusion for all and we talked about multilingualism and including the most vulnerable or ones that don't know English, actually, so that are some key points that I related from the global digital compact with the topics we were talking about today.  Thank you so much for the audience and good applause.