Public Access Centers such as Libraries, Community Networks and Offline Internet all combine to provide a solution to reach the billions of people not yet connected.

Even as the celebrations for getting half of the world’s population online approach, the need to reach the rest remains as strong as ever. The challenges will not get easier, with non-users of the internet often facing low incomes, remoteness or other barriers that stand in the way of the solutions which have worked to date. There is no easy fix, but a combination of approaches could, together, offer a formula to address almost any circumstance.

Priority approaches include:

  • Public access centers such as libraries: promotion of digital inclusion through technology access, information access, and development of ICT skills.
  • Community networks: a complementary way – across various sectors, economies, and technologies – to provide connectivity.
  • Offline internet: A growing movement striving to provide digital information access for communities that are not currently connected to the internet.

These approaches can support and reinforce each other to Connect and Enable the Next Billions (CENB) with attention to the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).