Sunday, September 22, 2013

UN Broadband Commission Report: Poorer Countries Left Behind

By the end of 2013 there will be more than three times as many mobile broadband connections as there are conventional fixed broadband subscriptions, according to a newly issued report from The Broadband Commission for Digital Development, a joint initiative of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and UNESCO.

The goal of the report is to provide a global snapshot of broadband network access and affordability, with country-by country data.

Some highlights:

  • The Republic of Korea continues to have the world’s highest household broadband penetration at over 97%.
  • Switzerland leads the world in fixed broadband subscriptions per capita, at over 40%. By comparison, the US ranks 24th in terms of household broadband penetration, and 20th in the world for fixed broadband subscriptions per capita, just behind Finland and ahead of Japan.
  • In terms of Internet use, there are now more than 70 countries where over 50% of the population is online.
  • The top ten countries for Internet use are all located in Europe, with the exception of New Zealand (8th) and Qatar (10th).
  • ITU (2013) estimates that some 200 million fewer women are online, compared with men.

“The new analysis in this year’s report shows progress in broadband availability, but we must not lose sight of those who are being left behind,” said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. TourĂ©, who serves as co-Vice Chair of the Commission with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. “While more and more people are coming online, over 90% of people in the world’s 49 Least Developed Countries remain totally unconnected. Internet – and particularly broadband Internet – has become a key tool for social and economic development, and needs to be prioritized, even in the world’s poorest nations. Technology combined with relevant content and services can help us bridge urgent development gaps in areas like health, education, environmental management and gender empowerment.”

“The global roll-out of broadband carries vast potential to enhance learning opportunities, to facilitate the exchange of information, and to increase access to content that is linguistically and culturally diverse,” said UNESCO’s Irina Bokova. “It can widen access to learning, enhance its quality and empower men and women, girls and boys, with new skills and opportunities.  But this does not happen by itself – it requires leadership, planning and action.”

http://www.itu.int/net/pressoffice/press_releases/2013/36.aspx#.Uj-JasaN-M4
http://www.broadbandcommission.org/


0 comments:

Post a Comment

See also