As of late 2019, mobile internet adoption stood at just 26% across sub-Saharan Africa, and internet access remains expensive and unreliable even for people who can afford a smartphone. In light of that reality, Wole Olayinka of insiderPR argues that digital inclusion efforts should embrace USSD, a communications protocol that connects feature phone users to basic digital services even without internet access. He explores the advantages and downsides of this outdated – but surprisingly flexible – technology.
Internet access remained blocked Monday in several districts of a state bordering India's capital following violent weekend clashes between police and farmers protesting controversial agricultural reforms.
In 2020, the world embraced digital transformation at an expedited pace, reimagining technology’s critical role in how we work, learn and live. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic illuminated a long-standing issue: billions of people remain without the universal human right of internet access.
Digital Access Matters: The Benefits of Bringing High-Speed Internet To Low-Income Communities During COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has led people around the world to work and shop from home – but as Dirk-Jan Koeman and Kara Ing at Poa Internet point out, this is easier for some than others. For instance, in densely-populated urban areas in Kenya, the lack of high-speed internet makes working from home almost impossible. They discuss how Poa is bringing these households online, and share research on how these newly connected customers are using the internet.
Countries with weak power infrastructures—which were already struggling to compete in the new digital economy—are facing bleak prospects in a post-lockdown world in which Zoom, Dropbox and Google Classroom are the new office or school.
- Sub-Saharan Africa