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2019

The top reasons why UK residents switched their broadband Internet Service Provider (ISP) in 2018, were to save money (29.9%) or get access to faster speeds (25.4%), while 18.3% simply sought better internet quality. This was discovered from the results of an online survey of 1,380 ISPreview.com.co.uk readers, which was conducted between 16 November 2018 and 2 January 2019.

The outcome of the survey according to the report is not different from those of previous years, with broadband speed, price and service quality continuing predictably to be the motivator for people changing their ISP.

2018

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) published a report on how new technologies open up opportunities for leapfrogging in developing countries that have limited capabilities, which is the concept of “bypassing intermediate stages of technology through which countries have historically passed during the development process”. However, this necessitates innovation policies to uphold the deployment of frontier technologies and their adaptation to meet their needs, to promote sustainable development. The report notes that rapid technological advances and cost reductions in ICT have enabled some developing countries, particularly in Asia and Africa, to skip the development of landline infrastructure by moving directly to mobile telecommunications. According to the report, countries need strategic innovation policies, sound infrastructure and institutions, and appropriate technological standards to promote leapfrogging.

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.

Re:publica, Europe’s largest conference on the topics of Internet and digital society has successfully concluded its first ever conference Africa in Accra, Ghana dubbed Re:publica Accra. The 2-day conference which took place on the 14-15 December 2018 was organized in collaboration with Impact Hub Accra with support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Corporation and Development (BMZ). The conference discussed issues on such topics as Net Neutrality, Data Protection, Civil Rights and other digital and societal issues bothering on ‘Access’, ‘Gender’, ‘Waste’, ‘Future’, ‘Tech for Good’ among others.

On 18 December 2018, China published a policy paper on possible measures to enhance the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and promote greater development of China-EU relations. The paper addresses issues related to the cooperation in political, security and defense fields that include the “good use of the China-EU Cyber Taskforce, jointly advocate a community with a shared future in cyberspace, promote norms for responsible State behavior in cyberspace under the UN framework, and advance the reform of the global internet governance system for a peaceful, secure, open, cooperative and orderly cyberspace.” Additionally, the paper tackles the cooperation in scientific research, innovation, emerging industries, and sustainable development through "Digital China" and the EU Digital Single Market where exchanges and cooperation between China and the EU are further required. It also refers to the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) hoping that its implementation will not affect normal business interactions between the two sides. According to the paper, cooperation on data protection between China and the EU will continue to protect personal information and the legitimate rights of citizens.

The Africa eCommerce Week: Empowering African Economies in the Digital Era was organised from 10 - 14 December 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the African Union, and the European Union, and hosted by the Government of Kenya. The outcome of the event is the Nairobi Manifesto on the Digital Economy and Inclusive Development in Africa which pinpoints a number of policy recommendations required for digital economy to bring inclusive and sustainable development to Africa and eschew wider inequalities and divides. The Manifesto further underlines how the engagement of all segments of society is significant for e-commerce to make a real and sustained contribution to development. To this aim, cross-cutting policy actions and new public - private partnerships are necessary alongside quality research and statistics to inform such policy actions.

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