School Connectivity

Working Group Co-Chaired by:

Audrey Azoulay, Director General, UNESCO, Co-Vice Chair of the Broadband Commission
Henrietta Fore, Executive Director,
Houlin Zhao, Secretary-General,
ITU, Co-Vice Chair of the Broadband Commission​

The Broadband Commission Working Group on “School Connectivity" will be positioned as a key consultation group and provider of advisory and advocacy guidance for the implementation of key projects related to this theme.

Objectives of the Group:

With the combined efforts of the Broadband Commissioners and other development partners and relevant external experts, the Working Group Members will advise on challenges and opportunities related to connecting schools around the world including: technologies, business models, funding mechanisms, articulating the link to quality and inclusive learning, ensuring schools provide the right skills for employability, and ensuring every young person has access to information, opportunity, and choice.

Members of the Broadband Commission Working Group will serve as an ‘Advisory Group for Giga’ , a Global School Connectivity Initiative coordinated by UNICEF and ITU. The Advisory Group will act as a key consultation group that provides advisory and advocacy guidance on the development of the Giga project. The output of the group will build on the work and research of the various members and their real market experience based on projects related to education connectivity, access, demand etc. The work of the Advisory Group will be designed so as to not cause any perceived or potential conflict of interest in future phases of the Giga project that may involve procurement/implementation. The Working Group will also act as a key consultation group that provides advisory and advocacy guidance on the development and financing of the e-schools initiative which aims at ensuring connectivity of schools is articulated with inclusive and quality teaching and learning and better learning outcomes and employability of learners.

The aim is to benefit from the unique composition of the Commission and its expertise and perspective of the top/key players in the ICT industry, policy makers and IGOs and to engage with all relevant stakeholders and sharing knowledge about other existing resources and initiatives.


The Working Group provided advice for the development of two global initiatives aimed at connecting schools to the Internet:

1. Giga, a joint initiative between ITU and UNICEF to connect every school to the Internet and every young person to information, opportunity, and choice
2. UNESCO’s e-schools Initiative, which seeks to ensure the value for learning of connectivity and to align infrastructure investment with education sector plans and ICT in education policies.

This has led to the recognition of the Giga Initiative in the UN Secretary General’s Roadmap for Digital Cooperation as a Key Way Forward in developing regional infrastructure and accelerating digital connectivity. It has also contributed to the work and initiatives of the Global Education Coalition launched by UNESCO in 2020 to support the continuity of learning during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

digital transformation of education

The Digital Transformation of Education Report

Connecting Schools, Empowering Learners

This report identifies a set of core principles, which aim to help governments and other interested stakeholders to develop more holistic school connectivity plans. It focuses on school connectivity and introduces a methodology and framework for connecting primary and secondary schools to the Internet based on a four pillars approach: MAP, CONNECT, FINANCE and EMPOWER


Broadband Commissioners

  1. ​Ann Aerts, The Novartis Foundation
  2. Piotr Dmochowski-Lipski, EUTELSAT IGO
  3. Amir Dossal, Global Partnerships Forum
  4. Erik Ekudden, Ericsson
  5. Henrietta Fore, UNICEF
  6. Makhtar Diop, The World Bank
  7. Mats Granryd, GSMA
  8. KT Corporation
  9. Carlos Jarque, Americal Movíl
  10. Dato’ Ir. Lee Yee Cheong, ISTIC
  11. Kevin Martin, Facebook
  12. Patrick Masambu, ITSO
  13. Paul Mitchell, Microsoft
  14. Denis O’Brien, Digicel
  15. Rupert Pearce, Inmarsat
  16. Joanna Rubinstein, World Childhood Foundation
  17. Jeffrey Sachs, Columbia University
  18. Rob Shuter, MTN
  19. Stephen Spengler, Intelsat
  20. Hans Vestberg, Verizon
  21. Mukhisa Kituyi, UNCTAD
  22. Sun Yafang, Huawei​
  23. Filippo Grandi, UNHCR
  24. Andrew Sullivan, ISOC
  25. Adrian Lovett, Worldwide Web Foundation​
  26. Rwanda
  27. Pekka Lundmark, Nokia​

External Experts

  1. Bill Tai, ACTAI Global ​
  2. Vera Songwe, ECA​
  3. Pavel Koktyshev, Institute for Development and Economic Affairs, Kazhakstan
  4. Liv Marte Nordhaug, Norad
  5. David Sengeh, Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation, Sierra Leone
  6. Naza Alakija, SAGE
  7. Philip Thigo, Office of the Deputy President of Kenya,
  8. Rose Mosero Maina, Cabinet Secretary, Kenya
  9. Catherine Lenson, SoftBank
  10. Antonio Garcia Zaballos, IADB
  11. Christopher Yoo, University of Pennslyvania
  12. Tim Unwin, Royal Holloway, University of London
  13. Mohan Vivekanandan, DBSA
  14. Andile Ngcaba, Convergence Partners
  15. Mei​ Lin Fung, People Centered Internet
  16. Lauren Woodman, NetHope
  17. Amer Baig, Blue Like An Orange Sustainable ​Capital
  18. Ellis Rubinstein, The New York Academy of Science
  19. Sampath Veeraghaven, IEEE
  20. Alexandre Barbosa, Regional Center for studies on the Development of the Information Society
  21. Enrique Hinostroza, Instituto de Informática Educativa
  22. Lucia Dellagnelo, Center for Innovation in Brazilian Education
  23. Mike Lawrence, PowerSchool Group
  24. Mutlu Cukurova, University College London
  25. Shafika Isaacs, University of Johannesburg
  26. Shyamal Majumdar, UNESCO-UNEVOC
  27. Tarek Chehidi, Teach for All
  28. Florence Ripani, Fundación CEIBAL
  29. Kathleen Siminyu Artificial Intelligence Development
  30. Whitney Lohmeyer, Olin College of Engineering; ​Mangata Networks​
  31. Carol O’ Donnell​, Smithsonian Science Education Center
  32. David Jasmin, LAMAP Foundation
  33. Mr Ibrahima Guimba Saido, Minister Special Advisor to the President, Niger​
  34. David Kelly, Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General
  35. Monica Jan, Virgin Orbit
  36. Laura Walker McDonald, DIAL
  37. Turhan Muluk, Telecom Policy Director & ITU-D Representative, INTEL​; John Roman, Global Broadband Policy Director, INTEL
  38. Marija Manojlovic, Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children
  39. Angelina Fisher NYU
  40. ​Vishal Mathur, Telecom Infra Project (TIP)
  41. Amy Alvarez, ​AT&T