Call for Uniform Guidance for Essential Tech Workers

Momentum Builds as 28 Associations From Around the World Join Call for Uniform Guidance for Essential Tech Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic

ICT industry voices from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, EU, France, India, Japan, U.K., U.S. and Vietnam sign ITI’s call to policymakers worldwide

WASHINGTON – Today, 28 trade associations from around the world joined ITI’s call for governments at all levels worldwide to adopt clear and uniform guidance regarding essential information and communications technology (ICT) workers for the purpose of aiding governments around the globe working to protect public health and safety during the pandemic. The call comes as more jurisdictions issue orders restricting individuals’ freedom of movement in reaction to COVID-19.

Organizations joining ITI in the call include:

ACT | The App Association; Alliance Française des Industries du Numérique (AFNUM); Asia Internet Coalition (AIC); Australian Services Roundtable (ASR); Brazilian Association of Information Technology and Communication (Brasscom); Brazilian Association of Software Companies (ABES); BSA | The Software Alliance; Cámara de Informática y Comunicaciones de la República Argentina (CICOMRA); Canadian Chamber of Commerce; Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI); Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA); Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA); Cybersecurity Coalition; European Data Center Association (EUDCA); Fiber Broadband Association; Fiber Optic Sensing Association (FOSA); Japan Business Machine and Information System Industries Association (JBMIA); Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industry Association (JEITA); NASSCOM; Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA); Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA); TECHNATION; TechNet; techUK; Telecommunication Industry Association (TIA); United States-Asian Business Council (USABC); United States Council for International Business (USCIB); and USTelecom.

“As governments appropriately restrict movement to stop the spread of COVID-19, technology products and services are crucial to our ability to work, learn, and communicate from home.  We must ensure that critical technology service workers can build, maintain and run these technology tools,” said Jason Oxman,ITI’s President and CEO. “We’re encouraged that dozens of our global industry partners are joining our call to government leaders to adopt clear guidance ensuring ICT workers can perform their critical jobs to facilitate quarantines and keep communities safe, secure and connected.”

Workers across the ICT sector are critical to the delivery of digital services and related infrastructure in support of the public health response. Specifically, these workers are aiding health care systems and providers; allowing employees and businesses to operate remotely; securing and servicing networks, data centers and cloud services; enabling e-commerce and the delivery of food, medicine, and other necessities; keeping students engaged and learning; manufacturing technology products and components from microprocessors to supercomputers; and otherwise enabling governments to respond to this global health crisis. 

Inconsistent guidance from different jurisdictions who implement lockdowns, shelter-in-place orders or other restrictions on personal movement could jeopardize the ability for ICT workers to provide the products and services that people need during this challenging time.Uniform adoption would avoid a patchwork of confusing emergency orders and site closures that could disrupt critical supply chains and industries and avoid additional bureaucratic procedures that may be problematic for businesses. Importantly, government officials and policymakers must also effectively promote and communicate the guidance regarding essential workers to state and local authorities responsible for enforcing such orders to avoid inconsistent enforcement.

ITI recently sent letters to officials in India and Brazil and delivered comments to Malaysia on this issue and will continue to reach out to other countries affected by the pandemic.  

Read ITI’s statement to governments here

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