Ericsson and UNICEF announced today a global partnership to help map school internet connectivity in 35 countries by the end of 2023.
This joint effort is part of the Giga initiative. Launched last year and led by UNICEF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Giga aims to connect every school to the internet. Ericsson is the first private sector partner to make a multimillion-dollar commitment to the initiative and does so as a Global UNICEF Partner for School Connectivity Mapping.
Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Deputy Executive Director, Partnerships, UNICEF said, “School closures, coupled with limited or non-existent opportunities for remote learning, have upended children’s education worldwide. Our partnership with Ericsson will bring us closer to giving every child and young person access to digital learning opportunities.”
In addition to funding, Ericsson will commit resources for data engineering and data science capacity to accelerate school connectivity mapping. Ericsson will also assist with the collection, validation, analysis, monitoring and visual representation of real-time school connectivity data. The data generated through the mapping will enable governments and the private sector to design and deploy digital solutions that enable learning for children and young people.
Heather Johnson, Vice President of Sustainability and Corporate Responsibility, Ericsson said, “Working together with partners like UNICEF and the ITU amplifies the potential impact of school connectivity and is a concrete first step in helping bridge the digital divide globally.”
“ITU brings a history of technology policy advocacy and regulatory expertise to the vital mission of connecting every school in the world,” said Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau.