Broadband going mainstream


Image: ITU's statshot - fixed broadband subscriptions per 100 people. By ITU
ITU's statshot - fixed broadband subscriptions per 100 people

Broadband is being taken seriously by most governments around the world, while ICTs have come within reach of most of the world’ s population for the first time in history.

Some 82 countries have national broadband strategies, and over 40 now include broadband in their universal service and universal access definitions.

The latest statshot report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) shows that 82 countries around the world now have national broadband strategies in place or on the way; and at least 40 now include broadband in their definition of universal service and universal access. Among these 40 countries are Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Malawi, Morocco, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Uganda.

ITU defines national broadband strategies as plans are clearly focusing on the benefits of building nationwide broadband infrastructure to provide public services online – including e-health, e-education and e-government. Countries with these in place include Malawi. Broadband competition is now available in over 90% of countries around the world – both in mobile and internet services.

ITU’ s statshot report notes that during the first decade of the 21st century, new information and communication technologies (ICTs) came within reach of most of the world’ s people for the first time in human history.

It says that during the past decade, the number of mobile cellular subscriptions around the world grew from under one billion to over five billion, while the number of internet users worldwide grew from under 400 million to over two billion.

Africa is still under-serviced, though. According to Internetworldstats, it had a penetration of only 10.9% by the end of last year.

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