1. What are the developmental aspects of the Internet (for example, economic, social, regulatory and technical aspects), especially for developing countries?
Developmental aspects of the Internet, especially in relation to developing countries are directly connected with the efforts of bridging the digital divide and the umbrella of corresponding issues. In general the digital divide is kind of watershed between people who can use Internet services and those who have not the possibility to access the Internet because of various technical, politic, social and economic reasons. Besides, digital divide could be seen on various levels as between countries, city and rural population, between youth and elder people, men and women. Digital divides reflex also the current social- economic unequal in the field of training and education and medicine care, depend on quality of life, financial and job position.
Other development aspects of the Internet are technological and are tied with Internet services and application development .
Apparently but directly connected are the issues of training, education and re-training, which bring- up competence and demands of private and corporate Internet users.
2. How can governments and other stakeholders promote the developmental aspects of the Internet?
Creation conditions for the Internet development is a complex task, supposing gradual demonopolization of IT market, design of the Internet connected legislation (copyright law, private information, user privacy, e- commerce, etc.) and also supporting universal access without any political, religious and other limitations.
Many governments and development agencies have adopted strategies to leverage IT technologies for development and introduced programmes that take advantage of the Internet – stimulating access to information through telecentres and mobile applications; promoting business sectors such as outsourcing and software development; disseminating e-agriculture and e-health information, distance learning and mobile money; and establishing mechanisms to provide early warning of natural and man-made disasters.
Governments and other interested organizations can focus their efforts also in supporting local and regional Internet Organizations, proposing various grants for research and training.
One of the main problems in developing countries is the brain- drain issue which means the outflow of qualified workforce from developing countries to the developed ones. The transfer or outsourcing of some tasks in IT sphere supported by governments and private sector could resolve the issue and more to turn it over.
3. What are the challenges and opportunities?
The Internet has become a great amplifier of human potential and continues to open up new horizons for connecting people, and for sharing ideas and information. This is already having a profound impact as an enabling medium for democratization, the promotion, exercise and enjoyment of human rights, as well as for realizing human development and exercising of economic, socio-political and cultural rights.
The challenges and opportunities, the future growth of the Internet should be promoted via the multi-stakeholder model to keep the Internet up and running towards human and information society development.