Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) has published a new research report titled Improving Mobile Broadband Quality of Service in Low Middle Income Countries, which examines the quality of internet service on offer across the Global South.The report provides the first set of public available data on upload and download speeds in low-and-middle-income countries.
The report finds that significant disparities exist between the broadband speeds found in the Global North and the Global South, with the median download speed for a user in Africa less than a seventh of the speed available to a user in Western Europe. Featuring insights from Bangladesh, Colombia, Mozambique and Peru, the report outlines a set of recommendations for improving quality of service. Further analysis of the report can be found here.
The impact of the Internet on businesses and the global economy has been crucial in shaping new economic models, and at the same time, raising new concerns.
The Internet is one of the primary drivers of economic growth, which is visible in many countries that have placed the development of ICT as one of the primary tools for boosting the economy.
The need for people to gain access to ICT resources and narrow the digital divide is crucial, and is especially relevant now in the light of the Sustainable Development Goals. It is also important to understand how access to the Internet affects the level of economic and social development in a country.
Internet access is growing rapidly, yet large groups of people remain unconnected to the Internet. As of 2015, about 43% of people had access to the Internet (in developing countries only 34%). Access to ICTs is part of the Sustainable Development Agenda, which commits to ‘significantly increase access to ICTs and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in least developed countries by 2020’ (Goal 9.c).