Giga

Giga Initiatives

Moving full speed, raising public and private funding, to connect every school by putting forward several countries as “accelerated” actors in Giga.

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Giga has been making progress, attracting new partners, and progressing with in-country activities. Subscribe to our newsletter and receive bi-monthly updates on Giga’s work straight to your inbox.

GIGA: REGIONAL UPDATES

Giga is now active in three regions. Below are the key highlights and updates. 

Central Asia

Kazakhstan

  • Signed on as the “Regional Lead” for Central Asia in January 2020.
  • A Giga Regional Centre and regional team in Nur-Sultan has been established to implement the initiative.
  • 7,410 schools have been integrated into Giga’s global mapping platform.
  • Request for Proposals launched with the Government to connect 60 schools; a feasibility study Request for Proposals has also been launched.

Kyrgyzstan

  • 692 schools have been connected.
  • Giga has also generated $200k savings/year in Kyrgyzstan. By seeing all the schools on a map, which previously didn’t exist, and their connectivity, the government renegotiated contracts, got a lower rate per Gigabyte (by 50%) for its schools, and lowered the total cost.

Latin America and Eastern Caribbean

Eastern Caribbean states (OECS)

  • 9 out of 11 countries in the Eastern Caribbean states (OECS) have completed mapping of their school connectivity.
  • In partnership with the OECS, Giga will enhance the connectivity of schools and develop digital public goods needed to support the new digital education vision for the Eastern Caribbean.
  • 457 schools have been connected.

Honduras

  • 545 schools have been connected.
  • Applied ML models to automatically identify schools from satellite imagery and mapped ~1,097 schools that were not part of official government registries.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Working with the governments of Rwanda, Kenya, Sierra Leone, and Uganda in mapping school connectivity real-time, and developing financial models to make connectivity affordable and sustainable.

Rwanda

  • Aggregated demand for connectivity and launched a Request for Proposals to test innovative models to provide broadband internet to schools in the Eastern province.
  • Applied ML models to automatically identify schools from satellite imagery and mapped ~1,530 schools that were not part of official government registries.

Kenya

  • Of 100 pilot schools to be connected in Kenya, 75 schools have been connected – bringing a total of 926 schools connected.

Sierra Leone

  • 205 schools have been connected.
  • Giga worked with mLabs to develop a browser extension that measures speed in real time. The browser extension has been launched in 7 schools in Sierra Leone and will expand to ~80% schools in the coming months. 

Niger

  • A Request for Proposals to conduct a feasibility study in the country has been launched.

GIGA: ACCELERATE

Giga is connecting the first schools in each partner country and exploring diverse technologies, business models, and regulatory arrangements to provide broadband connectivity to schools and communities.
GIGA: GLOBAL UPDATES

From global announcements to new partnerships and collaborations, here's a snapshot of Giga's progress across the globe.

UN Secretary-General's Roadmap for Digital Cooperation highlights and recommends: Giga

The UN SG Roadmap for Digital Cooperation underlines key recommendations for Digital Transformation, including UNICEF-ITU global initiative, GIGA; to bring the power of meaningful connectivity to fast track young people’s access to educational resources & opportunities.

Digital Public Goods Alliance kicked off with Norway

The Digital Public Goods Alliance, with the support of the government of Norway, is assessing, strengthening, and scaling a range of critical open source software and content that could address critical needs, especially during the current crisis.

Softbank Investment Advisory services joins Giga

Through our collaboration with Softbank Investment Advisors and industry experts, we established Giga’s financial model —developing a reliable, evidence-based model on the return of investment of connectivity, and providing advisory services to governments to build country-specific finance and delivery approaches.

Giga is anchored and recommended

In the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Digital Cooperation: Recommendation 1B which calls for the UN to create and provide access to vital “Digital Public Goods,” and Recommendation 1A which calls for universal access to connectivity.

UN’s policy brief “The impact of Covid-19 on children” highlights Giga. This policy brief highlights and recommends the need to make game-changing investments in broadband access and digital public goods that support the continuity of child-centered service (p.15).

Establishment of the Broadband Commission Working Group on School Connectivity.

The Broadband Commission Working Group on School Connectivity was launched during the Broadband Commission Annual Fall Meeting in New York, 21-22 September 2019.  Addressing the challenges and opportunities related to connecting schools around the world, this working group provides advisory and advocacy guidance on the development of Giga (as part of the Giga Advisory Group), and also serves as a key consultation group that provides advisory and advocacy guidance on the development and financing of the e-schools initiative.  The Working Group is Co-chaired by: UNICEF, UNESCO and ITU.