One year after Ericsson entered a global partnership with UNICEF to support the Giga Initiative’s school connectivity mapping efforts, the initiative has reached a major milestone in mapping the location and connectivity status of one million schools.
Giga – founded by UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in 2019 – aims to connect every school to the internet by 2030 and every young person to information, opportunity and choice.
Mapping schools is a key pillar of Giga as it helps provide an understanding of the scale of investment, actions and partnerships needed to bridge the digital divide and provide all school children around the world with access to digital learning opportunities.
Ericsson’s support for the initiative is in line with the company’s vision to create a world in which limitless connectivity improves lives – including school and learning opportunities – redefines business and pioneers a sustainable future. Over the past year, Ericsson has provided funding and applied data science to help map internet coverage in schools across seven countries. Along with contributions from multiple partners, this has helped Giga accelerate the mapping work and pass the one-million-school milestone. Under the partnership, Ericsson has committed to help map connectivity in schools across 35 countries by the end of 2023, supporting Giga’s ambition of mapping every school in the world.
Heather Johnson, Vice President, Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson, 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.”
“This milestone of over one million schools mapped is a testament to the power of public private partnerships. It’s the first step to achieving universal school connectivity. But there is more to be done and the industry must come together to play its part in closing the digital divide,” she added.