An initiative to bring internet connectivity to every school around the world has reached a key milestone.
The initiative, Giga, was set-up by both UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2019. It has helped one million schools connect to the internet around the world, with a helping hand from technology firm, Ericsson.
Heather Johnson, Ericsson’s Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, discussed the reasoning for coming on-board with this group.
She said: “According to the ITU, 369 million young people don’t have access to the internet and 260 million children aged 5-16 receive no schooling. This results in exclusion and fewer resources to learn and limits future potential for many young people. Mapping schools is a crucial first step in connecting every school to the internet and every student to opportunity and choice.”
Research relating to this project showed that nations with low broadband connectivity have the potential to realize up to 20 percent GDP growth by connecting their schools to the internet.
A press release announcing Giga’s achievement, further discussed the benefits of improving digital literacy in schools.
It read: “A workforce that has been educated to this higher standard is more likely to be innovative and foster ground-breaking ideas, leading to economic development and job creation.”
Chris Fabian, Co-Lead of Giga has discussed the importance of the group’s goal. He also added that Ericsson’s knowledge has helped them achieve this milestone.
He said: “Ericsson’s expertise has helped Giga’s data science team build better models for school connectivity. Technical partnerships, like this one, are vital to Giga as we create an open-source resource of school locations and connectivity that, as of today, includes more than one million schools.”