For most Americans, it may be difficult to imagine not having access to the internet at all times. More than 90% of US adults not only have access to the internet but also use it regularly for a number of purposes.
Perhaps it is because of this nationwide access to the internet that the US ranked 35th in sustainable development out of 162 global countries. The position isn’t terrible, but it isn’t particularly optimistic either. Countries without such widespread internet access seem to be ranking the lowest. Could this be because of the link between internet access and the achievement of sustainable goals? Let’s discuss.
Sustainable Development Goals
The United Nations released its seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in 2015. These goals are supposed to help achieve an overall Sustainable Development Agenda by 2030 – one that all UN member states agreed to adopt and work towards.
These seventeen SDGs focus on a range of accessibility and environmental shortcomings, such as the eradication of poverty and reduced inequalities. One goal, in particular, Goal 17: Global partnerships for the goals, requires a special focus on the means of accomplishing it – i.e., the internet.
Access to the Internet
You might be surprised to learn this, but nearly half of the global population, i.e., 4.4 billion people, does not have access to the internet. There can be many reasons attributed to this issue. For example, a big reason is the lack of broadband coverage due to the locations of certain regions. Other reasons can be the increase in digital illiteracy in regions without internet access and just simply the lack of internet infrastructure.
What You Can Do
There is very little you can do to increase internet access in regions without it on an individual scale, but you can use your voice to let those in power know about your cause.
Big tech companies like Facebook have tried to incentivize a larger amount of global users to start using the internet by increasing their access through sites like Facebook Zero. You can collaborate with organizations like the Internet Society to let your government know how important it is for them to join hands with other world leaders and improve global internet access in order to achieve the SDGs.
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