Innovative Connectivity Solutions – Regulatory Opportunities and Challenges


Nearly half of the world still lacks connectivity, but innovative access solutions are proving to be successful in addressing this issue.

The increased reliance on the Internet during periods of lockdown and confinement resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the need to ensure that everyone can use the Internet. The Middle East and North African (MENA) region have experienced impressive growth in the availability and adoption of the Internet in recent years, with a number of the Gulf States at the global forefront of new fiber broadband networks and 5G mobile networks along with near universal adoption of the Internet.

However, other countries in the region are lagging further behind. As a result, as of 2019, average Internet adoption in the region was at 55%. While this is slightly ahead of the global average, a significant challenge is that the growth rate is steadily falling.

To tackle these issues, on 15 December 2021, the Internet Society will participate at the Arab Forum on Digital Cooperation and Development (AFDCD 2021) and contribute to cutting-edge discussions on innovative connectivity solutions in the Middle East and North Africa. This high-level meeting aims to highlight the need for innovative ways for connectivity in Middle East and North Africa and the beneficial policies that can create an enabling environment for them.

Session 1: Innovative Community Solutions – Regulatory Opportunities and Challenges
(8:00 – 9:30 UTC)

Setting the scene:

  • Shedding light on examples for popular innovative connectivity models, case study from another region
  • Introducing Community Networks and how they could be developed;
  • What Challenges do community networks face:
    • Technical Challenges
    • Policy and Regulatory Challenges

Session 2: Meaningful Access and Inclusiveness (AFDCD 2021 plenary session)
(10:00 UTC)

Session 3: Innovative Community Solutions – Regulatory Opportunities and Challenges
(14:00 – 15:30 UTC)

Issues Related to Lack of Access to Spectrum& Infrastructure:

  • How to enable the regulatory environment to sustain a Community Network.
  • Financial and Sustainability Challenges
  • Country case study from the region

Registration details coming soon.