September 27, 2015


CONTACT: Adora Jenkins, 202-524-4397

WASHINGTON – The Information Technology Industry Council (ITI), the global voice for the technology sector, and its member companies today released statements of praise for the U.S. State Department’s Global Connect initiative, which aims to expand digital technologies to the developing world. The announcement was made today at the United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York.

“There is tremendous potential for digital technologies to drive economic growth, innovation, and increased living standards, particularly in the developing world,” ITI President and CEO Dean Garfield said. “We congratulate the State Department for its leadership in stimulating this conversation and for providing a roadmap for the international community - both in the public and private sectors - to make progress on these issues.”

The Global Connect initiative is an important step in addressing this challenge, and will seek to do so by: 1) building mainstream support for the proposition that the Internet is fundamental to the economy of every country and should be a central element of global development efforts; 2) providing a platform for the private sector, international organizations, and development organizations to coordinate their activities internationally; and 3) assisting governments around the world in identifying policy and regulatory frameworks that enable digital technologies and all the economic and innovation benefits that result.

ITI member companies are committed to deploying digital technologies to power growth and development around the world, as reflected in the quotes of several of ITI’s companies below.

“We commend the launch of the ‘Global Connect’ Initiative and its recognition of broadband deployment as a source of innovation. Broadband connectivity is to innovation what water is to agriculture – it allows ideas to take root, grow and flourish. Connecting the remotest villages and underserved communities cultivates new voices and ideas that can truly change the world.” - Corning Incorporated

“Dell applauds Secretary Kerry and the State Department for launching its Global Connect Initiative, which will help bring 1.5 billion people online. Easy and affordable broadband access is one of Dell’s top global policy priorities for helping entrepreneurs succeed and is critical for job creation. Access to broadband helps entrepreneurs enter the market and be successful; enables students and educators connect to needed resources; and levels the playing field for all to access to jobs, government, education, commerce, healthcare and information.” - Dell

“Ericsson was founded 140 years ago on the firm belief that communication is a basic human need. Access to affordable communications extends opportunities to all, allowing everyone to benefit from the digital age on more equal terms. Today, 40% of all calls and data go through our networks, and we believe that by working together, we can connect 90% of the world to mobile broadband by 2020 - enabling billions to be part of the Networked Society.” - Ericsson

“This weekend, Facebook pledged to make connectivity a global priority, with a goal of achieving universal connectivity by 2020. We thank Secretary Kerry for launching Global Connect, which helps to elevate connectivity as a priority for development around the world.” - Facebook

“HP welcomes the State Department’s announcement of the Global Connect Initiative to link 1.5 billion people to the Internet by 2020. Digital technologies encourage entrepreneurship, drive economic progress, improve access to quality healthcare and education, and enable better environmental stewardship.” - HP

“Data is the 21st century’s new natural resource, and also its most abundant. Technologies built to harness the power of data - such as cloud and mobile platforms - are bringing people closer together and making business and society smarter and more efficient. IBM applauds the State Department and Secretary Kerry for launching this effort, and working to expand opportunities for more people around the world to benefit from participation in the digital economy.” - IBM

“As the world becomes more dependent on information and communication technology (ICT), broadband internet access and usage is increasingly recognized as essential to economic growth and the provision of education, healthcare, jobs creation, national competiveness and other basic services. We are pleased to collaborate with the US State Department and other world leaders to help provide affordable connectivity, helping to bridge the gap between countries and promoting inclusion.” - Intel

“Having access to the Internet has become indispensable for full participation in today’s global society. The Global Connect initiative is a welcome and much needed effort to accelerate affordable access for all that we wholeheartedly support. This initiative will enable more people to realize economic opportunities and improve their lives – and will be an important ingredient in ultimately achieving the newly agreed Sustainable Development Goals. We congratulation the State department on its leadership and look forward to working together to achieve the objectives.” - Microsoft

ITI looks forward to working with and supporting the State Department and the rest of the U.S. government in this effort.

For more information about the Global Connect announcement and why this issue is critically important, read today’s TechWonk blog by ITI’s Senior Vice President for Global Policy, Josh Kallmer, who attended the initiative’s launch at the U.N.

Public Policy Tags: Broadband, Communications, & Spectrum, Trade & Investment