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How is the Internet in Germany? New findings of national Internet Universality assessment


On 14 September, Germany  officially launches, at the German Internet Governance Forum 2021, their voluntary national Internet assessment through UNESCO’s Internet Universality ROAM-X Indicators (IUIs).

This is  the 5th edition of the UNESCO Series of national assessments using the Internet Universality Indicators, following Brazil, Benin, Senegal and Kenya. The publication, currently available in both English and German, offers  a panoramic picture of the Internet ecosystem in the country and paves the way for similar assessments in other countries, notably in Europe.

The report shows the universal relevance of the ROAM-X principles and indicators to all countries in the global north and south and sets a model for similar assessments in other countries, in Europe and beyond. It demonstrates Germany’s commitment to promoting the ROAM-X principles in its national digital environment, and its pioneering spirit in contributing to how Internet governance and digital transformation processes are shaped around the world.

Tawfik Jelassi, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information

The German national assessment examined 109 core and 21 contextual indicators and is characterized by a truly inclusive multistakeholder approach. This exercise, led by Professor Dr. Wolfgang Schulz and Professor Dr. Matthias C. Kettemann from the Leibniz Institute for Media Research | Hans-Bredow-Institut, with support from the German Federal Foreign Office and German National Commission for UNESCO, was conducted by a Multi-stakeholder Advisory Board (MAB) formed especially for this research, consisting of representatives of government, the private sector and civil society.

The Internet Universality ROAM-X Indicators framework consists of a set of 303 indicators including 109 core ones that aim to assess how well national stakeholders, including governments, companies and civil society perform in adhering to the ROAM principles of Rights, Openness, Accessibility and Multi-stakeholder participation, as well as a number of 79 cross-cutting indicators concerning gender equality, youth, ethical dimensions and sustainable development.

So far, the national assessment project of ROAM-X indicators has progressed in 28 countries, playing a transformative role in shaping a national, multi-stakeholder shared vision for the Internet, and formulating dialogue on regulatory and policy changes needed to get there. UNESCO is working with all stakeholders to scale up the global advocacy of ROAM-X and the national assessment of indicators in more countries, in all regions of the world.

The German report will also be presented alongside other Internet Universality assessments at the UNESCO pre-event during the global Internet Governance Forum set to be held from 6-10 December 2021, in Poland.