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Get connected in May

worldinternetpicWhen: May 17

What: While Internet access is a crucial part of economic and educational growth, only 31 percent of people in the developing world have access. Although Google and Facebook are attempting to expand the Internet, much remains to be done. Recognize the importance of continued global Internet growth on World Telecommunication and Information Society Day this May 17.

Background: World Telecommunication and Information Society Day was established in 2006 by the U.N. to promote the Internet and other communication technologies as a method to encourage growth in societies and economies, as well as a way to bridge the digital divide. It is usually celebrated on May 17 because the date marks the anniversary of the signing of the first International Telegraph Convention and the creation of the International Telecommunication Union in 1865. This year’s theme is the use of information and communication technologies for sustainable socio-economic growth in health, education, governance, trade and commerce.

Story Pitch: Telecommunication companies will want to focus on their efforts at home and abroad to make the Internet more affordable and reliable. Now would be a good time to cross-promote with libraries, which are often a public internet resource, and highlight how working together has helped entire communities. Local governments can also take this as a chance to promote their efforts to grow regional IT business through improved telecom infrastructure, including how this infrastructure will also benefit citizens and increase access to education. They can also pair with groups that promote democratic involvement and literacy via the Internet, especially with the approaching midterm elections.

Story Hook: Recent events in Turkey and Venezuela have shown the power and importance the Internet can play in politics and freedom of speech. What do these events mean for the global Internet? Keep the following in mind while making your pitch:

  • What is the state of Internet neutrality in the U.S. and around the world?
  • Is the concept of a public free access Internet possible?
  • What technological advances have helped increase global Internet access?
  • What can Internet access do to help remote communities?

Tips: Provide contact information for a telecom technology engineer, as well as a scholar or researcher who studies the politics of the Internet.

Resources:

Electronic Frontier Foundation
(415) 436-9333
press(at)eff.org
www.eff.org

International Communication Association
(202) 955-1444
www.icahdq.org

Internet Infrastructure Coalition
www.i2coalition.com

World Telecommunication and Information Society Day
(917) 367-2992
www.itu.int/en/wtisd

–Researched, compiled & written by Nicholas Testa
Event Dates  from CHASE’S Calendar of Events

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