By praising smart cities and highlighting the need for smart villages, Nokia’s President and CEO, Pekka Lundmark, expressed how he thinks the COVID-19 pandemic raised the importance and need for connectivity. Including how governments like El Salvador are recognizing it and taking action.
“Connectivity is not a luxury, but a basic right. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this clearer than ever. Connectivity enables people to study, shop, bank, socialize, access healthcare, and in many cases, work from home. However, for the approximately 3.6 billion people in the world, all this is impossible because they do not even have the most basic Internet access” — Peeka says in his World Economic Forum article.
Being that the International Monetary Fund estimates that the world lost around $15 trillion, Lundmark questioned how much of that could have been saved if the whole world had access to the internet. “What about the physical and mental health costs of being unconnected in an increasingly digital world? We must act now to bring unconnected communities online. Not just in smart cities, but in smart villages and smart townships”. — he added.
He talked about the connectivity breach acknowledged by the current Salvadoran government, and how this breach expressed in numbers reveals that only half of the people have access to the internet, including public schools, having just two-thirds of them with access to the web. “Fortunately, the country has recognized the toll this has taken on productivity, equality, and education, and has made addressing it a top government priority” — expressed.
“The public and private sectors are working together to bring huge swathes of El Salvador’s public services online, with the aim of having broadband in every school by 2030, as well as extending it to other public services such as medical clinics, hospitals and police stations. This will not only vastly improve internet access, but also create the foundations for a modern digital economy”