Engagement in key forums on access-related policy, regulatory and governance processes

During 2017, in line with our longstanding commitment to promoting innovative and people-centred approaches to access (including areas such as digital migration, community networks, infrastructure sharing, dynamic spectrum management, open hardware, public access and access for women), APC continued advocating for access to information and communications technologies (ICTs) as enablers for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS). APC intervened and engaged at national, regional and global forums, including the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD), the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), as well as the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL) and the Communications Regulators Association of Southern Africa (CRASA).

APC participated in numerous global events focused on community networks as a means of promoting access, such as the Community Networks Exchange in Asia-Pacific in September; the Digital Citizen Summit, organised by APC member organisation Digital Empowerment Foundation and ISOC, in September in New Delhi, India; and the Second Summit on Community Networks in Africa in May in Nairobi, Kenya. We organised a workshop on Local Connectivity Solutions for the Unconnected at the WSIS Forum, convened by the ITU in June 2017 in Geneva.

APC delivered a statement at the WSIS Forum High-Level Policy Session, “Inclusiveness – Access to Information and Knowledge for All”, where we emphasised the need to encourage governments to develop policy and regulatory environments that support community-based local access networks as well as other inclusive approaches.

We participated in a Workshop on Policy and Regulatory Advocacy for Community Networks with Civil Society organised in October in Buenos Aires, Argentina, as a pre-event to the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) and, in partnership with ISOC and Rhizomatica, worked at the WTDC in November to promote the adoption of a resolution in favour of community networks. At the Stockholm Internet Forum 2017 in May, APC staff members were panelists in the session, “Helping the last four billion get connected: The potential for small-scale community-based networks”.

At the global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) 2017 in Geneva, APC participated in several workshops on community networks and in particular the Dynamic Coalition on Community Connectivity (DC3), where APC’s paper on research methodology was presented and published in the DC3 2017 annual report. APC also contributed to the IGF session on Connecting and Enabling the Next Billion.

In addition, APC delivered submissions on access-related policy and regulatory processes nationally and regionally, contributing to an increased understanding of APC’s people-centred perspective on access, innovative regulatory approaches and public policy recommendations. The inputs provided to the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) Multistakeholder Working Group on multilateral development bank support for access, and a submission to ITU’s public consultation on over-the-top services (OTTs), among others, show APC’s deep commitment to this area of work.

Image: Screenshot of the video from the Dynamic Coalition on Community Connectivity (DC3) session at the 2017 IGF.

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