ITU’s latest global analysis indicates slow Internet penetration rates

Although prices for mobile-voice, mobile-data and fixed-broadband services are decreasing steadily around the world, internet penetration rates are surprisingly low. The reduction in price relative to income is even more dramatic, suggesting that, globally, telecommunication and information and communication technology services are becoming more affordable.

However, these trends do not translate into rapidly increasing Internet penetration rates which suggests that there are other barriers to Internet use, concludes ITU in its new statistical report, Measuring Digital Development: ICT Price Trends 2019.

"The COVID-19 crisis has clearly shown us that nobody is safe until we are all safe. By the same token, we will not be able to use the full potential of digital technologies until we are all connected," said Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director, ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau. "To connect all, we need to address all factors that may prevent meaningful connectivity." 

The latest statistics from ITU confirm that affordability may not be the only barrier to Internet uptake, and that other factors such as low level of education, lack of relevant content, lack of content in local languages, lack of digital skills, and a low-quality Internet connection may also prevent effective use. 

On global pricing, statistics showed that an entry-level mobile-voice basket remained broadly affordable in most countries, the expansion of bundled services had further reduced prices and good progress had been made towards the Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development's target. 

 

 

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