Public Wi-Fi/Open access models in developing countries- Access solution or supplementary model? by Admin on 09 December 2016

Global IGF 2016: Is public Wi-Fi an answer to affordable access to the internet now?
Friday 9 December. 1130-1300
Guadalajara, Mexico.
Workshop Organisers: Dr Alison Gillwald and Chenai Chair.

Digital inequality remains the primary barrier to the harnessing of ICTs in the three broad areas of the Sustainable Development Goals - economic development, social inclusion and environmental. In this context this workshop explores free public Wi-Fi models that are emerging as an effective new form of demand aggregation able to leverage the increased availability of Internet enable mobile-devices in developing countries where, even effectively regulated, broadband services are unaffordable for many people

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GIS 2016: economic, social and cultural rights (ESCRs) and the internet by Admin on 28 November 2016

 A groundbreaking report on economic, social and cultural rights (ESCRs) and the internet will be released at the Internet Governance Forum in Guadalajara, Mexico, on 9 December 2016.
The latest edition of the Global Information Society Watch (GISWatch) report will look at the role of the internet in realising economic, social and cultural rights (ESCRs).In the same way that the internet is essential to sustainable development, it is increasingly becoming an important enabler of ESCRs, such as the right to education, to cultural expression, and to the benefits of science and technology. Yet the role of the internet in achieving ESCRs has received little attention when it comes to recent internet rights advocacy, with many choosing to focus instead on the importance of civil and political rights.

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Inclusive development and digital transformation in Africa by Alison Gillwald on 19 October 2016

RIA Executive Director, Prof. Alison Gillwald, addressed delegates at the 5th Meeting of the African Internet Governance Forum, AfIGF 2016, on the challenges of evidence–based policy formulation and safeguarding public interest outcomes in increasingly globalised and complex environment.

Prof.  Gillwald's presentation 'Inclusive development & digital transformation in Africa' may be viewed here.

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Much ado about nothing? Zero rating in the African context by Admin on 06 October 2016

 A fresh, public-interested assessment of the zero-rating of certain applications (apps) and platforms in the African mobile prepaid environment is overdue. This policy paper examines the issue of zero-rating within the contexts of the range of discounted and dynamically-priced African mobile network operator (MNO) products, and the priority public policy issues facing the continent in relation to the Internet. 

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South Africa: Open Access wireless networks threaten competition and investment? by A. Gillwald, S. Esselaar and B. Rademan on 18 October 2016

Despite its policy currency globally there is little evidence that mandatory open access networks have contributed to public policy objectives of increased competition in services, decreased pricing and higher levels of demand stimulation. In fact, a growing body of evidence from mature markets indicates that the adoption of mandatory open access network strategies may come at the expense of other public interest objectives such as investment and innovation.
The lacuna in South Africa’s national broadband policy on how to implement open access in order to contribute to national policy objectives prompted Research ICT Africa (RIA) to investigate whether open access strategies could be the policy and regulatory panacea to poor network extension and high costs of broadband. 

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