Internet Governance Forum 2016: spearheading greater connectivity and trust

By: Cheryl Miller

The international community is continuing to take significant steps to drive the future of internet policy, in part, through multistakeholder collaboration. I was pleased to engage in these efforts firsthand last week at the 2016 Internet Governance Forum (IGF) in Guadalajara, Mexico. The IGF assembled a range of citizens young and old from across the world to engage on critical internet policy issues. A central focus that emerged was the challenge of extending global connectivity to those who don’t yet have internet access.

Addressing this challenge is the goal of 1 World Connected, a research initiative aimed at fostering greater global internet connectivity. Its mission is to analyze and share case studies from around the world on efforts to improve internet deployment and uptake, and I am proud that Verizon continues to lead efforts on this important charge.

Verizon representative Cheryl Miller delivers remarks at the Internet Governance Forum in Guadalajara, Mexico in December 2016

As a representative of Verizon and the global business community at IGF conferences over the last several years, I’ve witnessed the amazing power of the internet community – companies, governments, academics, nonprofits and civil organizations – when it comes together to consider policies that will drive inclusive and sustainable growth to benefit all people. These efforts include adoption of the United Nation’s, “Sustainable Development Goals,” focused on increasing societal and economic benefits through health, agriculture, sustainable consumption, education, urban planning, water and energy conservation, and reduction of income and social inequalities. And advanced technologies can notably help us achieve these goals and improve the overall quality of life for people everywhere.

The work done at IGF to educate people from across the world in business, government, civil society and the technical community is poised to move forward and advance efforts to leverage Information Communications Technologies (ICT) globally. To this end, this year IGF sessions were developed to examine policy options for issues including: connecting the next billion people to the internet; national and regional internet initiatives; emerging services including IoT; the future of internet governance frameworks; human rights; and trade agreements. And especially important to this year’s IGF were the many workshops and sessions dedicated to issues related to gender and women in ICT and the overall internet space.

Verizon believes in the importance of diverse viewpoints and solutions when formulating global policy positions to address the needs of the internet community, and has supported the IGF since its inception. One of the most important goals of the internet is to keep it an open, stable and trusted platform to empower people across the world. With that goal in mind, I was proud to represent Verizon at the IGF and look forward to witnessing all of the great policy solutions that emerge to hopefully move the ball forward to create a fully connected world.

About the author(s): 

Cheryl Miller is a director of International Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs at Verizon. Connect with her on Twitter.