Technologies bringing Internet to the poor that every development leader must know

A girl in Tanzania browses the Internet. New technologies and initiatives to bring Internet connectivity to the poor are now available. Photo by: Caroline Umali / CC BY-NC-ND

American sensors recently detected Russian submarine activity near undersea cables that transmit huge amounts of data between continents. Military and intelligence officials are on edge. Every day, these fiber optic cables carry $10 trillion in global business and more than 95 percent of global communications.

Fiber optic cable offers the highest capacity, lowest cost and fastest Internet speeds, and developing countries have benefited from efforts to extend connectivity to their shores. But bridging the digital divide is not as simple as laying cables between continents, and the race to connect the next billion people to the Internet has given rise to a wide variety of solutions.

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About the author

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    Catherine Cheney

    Catherine Cheney is a Senior Reporter for Devex. She covers the West Coast of the U.S., focusing on the role of technology, innovation, and philanthropy in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. And she frequently represents Devex as a speaker and moderator. Prior to joining Devex, Catherine earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale University, worked as a web producer for POLITICO and reporter for World Politics Review, and helped to launch NationSwell. Catherine has reported domestically and internationally for outlets including The Atlantic and the Washington Post. Outside of her own reporting, Catherine also supports other journalists to cover what is working, through her work with the Solutions Journalism Network.