BASIS Chair and TCS CEO: Cooperation key for next billion to jump on “Internet Express”

  • 3 December 2008

To connect the five billion people without Internet access requires continued investment in infrastructures, open and competitive markets, and policies developed with input from all stakeholders, the Chair of Business Action to Support the Information Society (BASIS), Subramaniam Ramadorai, said at the opening of the third Internet Governance Forum (IGF) today.

Business continues to play a significant role helping more people ‘jump onto the “Internet Express”, said Mr Ramadorai, who is also CEO and Managing Director of Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in India.

He offered the example of a TCS and NGO partnership to develop a system to help rural communities, even those without direct Internet access, to organize, use, and manage information to be able to share it among themselves quickly and easily. The ability to do this without Internet connectivity is a compelling motivator to bring more communities into the information fold as the benefits would increase dramatically if the village had Internet connectivity.

“Business is not just being philanthropic”, said Mr Ramadorai. Bringing the benefits of the Internet to more people makes good business sense – leading to a well-educated workforce that ensures well-functioning organizations. Progress depends on informed policymaking – which results from working with all stakeholders – to help create environments in which innovation and investment can thrive, he noted.

He underlined the vital importance of the IGF as a facilitator of the global governance underpinning Internet development: “Internet governance requires the input of all stakeholders. Business, governments, the technical community, civil society…We must discuss openly and candidly at the international level so that informed policy approaches can be implemented at the national and regional levels.”

In addition to convening business representatives participating at the IGF, ICC BASIS will co-host a workshop with Government of Finland on 5 December. This interactive discussion will focus on digital convergence and the challenges and opportunities it poses for small- and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries.

BASIS raises awareness of the environment businesses around the world require to continue to thrive as an innovator of information and communications technologies, and participates in global UN-linked forums set up to foster dialogue on ICTs set up at the conclusion of the two World Summits on the Information Society.