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Internet: A Human Right in Digital World

Paritosh Prajapati, CEO, GX Group

The global use of the Internet has risen exponentially, with billions connected and sharing images, posts, mails and stories. Despite the billions of people accessing the Internet, there remain regions of the world that do not have access. Today, only 54 percent of the global population is connected to the internet.

Due to the lack of access and suppressive tactics by certain governments, the United Nations (U.N.) has declared that ‘online freedom’ is a ‘human right,’ and one that must be protected. This was in the form of resolution A/HRC/32/L.20 in 2016.

The internet has made it possible for knowledge to flow across boundaries seamlessly. It is now possible to get a degree online, learn how to be a good cook by watching YouTube, or even launch a successful business with nothing but a laptop and a decent internet connection. Unfortunately, some people are still in the dark due to lack of internet access. By providing people with an affordable internet, countries can equip their citizens with tools needed to succeed in the digital economy.

Women’s Digital Empowerment
Without equal access to technology and the internet, girls and women are not able to equally participate in our ever more digital societies. Holding back girls and women in this area affects every aspect of their lives, including their ability to speak out and campaign on issues that affect them and if girls and women are not involved in creating digital tools and online content, they may increase the level of inequalities. The gender technology gap also negatively impacts countries’ potential for economic growth and development. Empowering women to participate equally in the global economy could add $28 trillion in GDP growth by 2025.

We introduced our Technology literacy program in 2020, with a mission to create awareness and improve the reach of connectivity and gender equality. From our research, we have perceived that societies with greater gender equality not only offer better socioeconomic opportunities for women, but also tend to grow faster and more equitably.

The program covers visiting rural areas, and providing training to local operators on deployment planning to make it affordable and scalable in terms of capacity, securing the investment for long term, and offer support through introduction to education platforms and providing required tools enabling them the digital society.

Benefits of Digital Empowerment
Digital literacy has become almost as important as traditional literacy, as over 90 percent of jobs worldwide already have a digital component and most jobs will soon require sophisticated digital skills. If governments and corporations work together to equip people with digital skills through

prioritizing education in ICT subjects, they will help in economies where routine work has been automated and digital skills are valued.

The increased consumer demand for high-speed network (Fiber-To-The-Home, FTTH) is being taken more and more seriously which is further increased with the pandemic situation, and a fiber-based solution is able to handle the growing demands due to its high bandwidth and reliability. Apart from all the common benefits we see in our daily life, in Europe, they have observed socio-economic impacts of a fiber-based solution. For the rest of the world, a 10 percent increase in internet penetration leads to a 1.2 per cent increase in GDP, while in India we will see 10 percent increase in internet traffic leads to a 3 percent increase in GDP.

The next coming years we will witness the Next Wave of Digital India, which has been supported by the lockdown and social distancing, driving users to experiment with various digital solutions. In 2021, we will see a realization in both Internet Adoption and Frequency of usage creating world largest digital adaptation, supported by our Make in India initiative

The rural India registered an internet growth of 45 percent, while urban India logged 11 percent as overall monthly active internet usage. Out of this 38 percent are school-going children in the age group of 15 years or below with access to information and education, social media, gaming and entertainment, and this will be the main supporting factor for a Digital India.

GX’s Association with Digital India
There are many companies who are obsessed with winning today, but how can you win the game that never ends? Games like Cricket and Football are games that have firm rules and a final endpoint. In business, it's never ending, as there is always a new set of challenges in front of every organization. With a long-term vision, along with focus on creating real value, GX is working with the Government of India to empower the right areas with connectivity, along with extending women’s digital empowerment in villages.

In a country with more than 6,50,000 villages, where more than half of its population live in rural areas and villages. Most are remote and too isolated to benefit from the country’s impressive economic progress. The last-mile delivery has always been a challenge for India due to low technology literacy among the rural citizens.

GX, is a developer of FTTH products since 2002 in Europe and started its operation in India 2012. To promote our rural area connectivity, we launched GX rural program with training and education arranged at panchayats - to increase the technology literacy along with introducing affordable FTTH models. This program is backed by European Government investments, supporting GX to set up its own manufacturing unit. GX will control each and every component level to ensure the right level of cost and quality, supporting the upscaling demand with affordable deployment models created with Local Internet Service Providers (L-ISPs).
We at GX believe that the companies who work for the long run are those who play by infinite rules. Where they do things that enable them to create advantage by innovative solutions that outlast their competitors with a mission to improve the world and leave something outlasting after them.

Make in India Setup
The target with our manufacturing setup is to create a global manufacturing hub, supporting our localization vision which started in 2012 with our R&D Technology transfer from our European setup in Sweden and The Netherlands. GX is today working closely with each and every component vendor, ensuring the affordability. We are working closely with local partners and investors to create the right foundation. Quality is the main target, being a European Company. We have the advantage of 20 years’ experience working with developed markets, producing right innovations in India for Indian market and opening support for global emerging markets in Asia and Africa.

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