The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of internet access for education and work, but almost half the world's population - 3.7 billion people - lack connectivity, particularly in the poorest areas where there is little economic incentive for companies to invest.
The Giga project, a partnership between UNICEF and the International Telecommunications Union, is exploring the potential for connectivity credits, which would function like carbon credits to incentivize service providers and technology firms to extend networks to the poorest regions.
Giga is investigating the potential of a connectivity credit scheme to connect schools in poor areas and assess the difficulty of connecting them. Schools could act as "connectivity hubs" for other organisations and individuals in the area.
Governments are seen as the ideal partner to make connectivity credits work at a national level, and could use tax breaks, subsidies, and guarantees to attract businesses.
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