It's OneWebDay! This year's theme is "Policy Options for Connecting the Next Billion." Find out how open standards are crucial in order to keep the internet thriving.

For the past nine years, September 22 has been set aside by open-web advocates and professionals to raise awareness for the importance of open-standards and open-networking principles under the umbrella of “OneWebDay.” The 2015 theme for OneWebDay is “Connecting the Next Billion.” The theme was selected to align with the concurrent Internet Governance Forum (IGF) program, “Policy Options for Connecting the Next Billion.”

The term, “the next billion,” refers to the figures that suggest that there are approximately three billion active Internet users as of 2015. The task of bringing the next billion online all while safeguarding and advancing the utility of the web that we enjoy today is monumental. According to the IGF Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG), “more effort is necessary in order to connect the next billion and to address the digital divide” and “Collaboration between governmental and non-governmental actors is key to meet this challenge.”

In a keynote address earlier this year, United States Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment Catherine Novelli addressed the issue of Internet expansion, drawing from data contained in a 2014 report from the Alliance for an Affordable Internet (A4AI). In the address, Novelli identified four important principles for a thriving Internet:

  1. Drive broadband infrastructure expansion through increased private investment and removal of barriers.
  2. Intensify competition and level the playing field to increase access, reduce cost and stimulate demand.
  3. Open access and infrastructure sharing.
  4. Enable access to spectrum.

Here is Ms. Novelli’s full address:

OneWebDay is another opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of open-web principles and the issues that may face the Internet as we collectively work to accommodate the millions of people who connect and who will connect in the future. If you have any feedback, be sure to leave a comment. To become an advocate for the principles that have contributed to the open internet and technology development environment we enjoy today, we invite you to become an OpenStand advocate by: