For his part, Robert Opp, digital director of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) highlighted that during the pandemic this need for connectivity became even more evident and in some cases demonstrated that its lack Access is an impediment to the development of sectors such as finance, telemedicine and public services.
In fact, he specified that around the world there are still 2.7 billion people who do not have access to the Internet. In addition, he highlighted that while cities have 86% coverage, in rural areas it is barely 42%, while only 30% of women can access it, which shows the inequalities of the digital world.
In Mexico, according to Statista data, until last year there were 98.2 million people with internet access, a higher figure than in 2020 (before the pandemic), when there were 83 million.
And although Internet access is a human right enshrined in the country’s Constitution, for companies and even some regulatory bodies, such as the IFT, the high costs imposed by the government to exploit broadband prevent more Mexicans from accessing and using benefit from the internet.
Connectivity and inclusion
Opp also highlighted that in order to achieve the objective of inclusive and meaningful connectivity it is important that both governments, companies and society work towards that same end and highlighted the fact that in events such as the MWC these elements of the equation can be found and made to be heard .
Mauricio Ramos, CEO of the telephone company, Millicom, stressed that companies must assume the commitment to provide access roads to connectivity, since it is a way of leveling the ground with respect to inequalities.
However, he also highlighted that digital connection by itself is not the goal, communities must also be taught to connect and stay up-to-date in order to remain part of the digital economy.
Regarding this matter, Yoon Chang, director of strategy and policy of the Federal Communications Commission of the United Kingdom, maintained that investment in the education of users should not only be aimed at young people, since older adults also require it. to be represented and maintain development opportunities.
Bobby Srinivasan, CEO of the Mobileum telco, also contributed that in addition to the elderly sector, it is necessary to connect remote sites and discuss how to improve conditions for them, since they are areas where valuable talent can also be found for the generation of applications that respond to little-seen needs.
Christopher Fabian, one of those responsible for leading the UNICEF digital project, Giga, said that in addition to creating access roads, it is also necessary to invest in creating digital towns where the roads have an end point.
He concluded that it is necessary to work with regulators to encourage all these areas of the economy and digital services under a secure system, which represents a rethinking of the rules, since these were built “many years ago and have not adapted” to the current reality.