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2019

Brunei's Minister of Transport and Information Communications, Abdul Mutalib announced the establishment of a National Cybersecurity Centre that will help monitor and co-ordinate response to cyber-threats. Brunei is working on its government strategy to use technology for economic gain and prosperity. Mutalib commented on the creation of the Unified National Network that would consolidate the network infrastructure of all existing telecommunication operators in the country in order to guarantee broadband access for all consumers.

 

A study made by the Alliance for Accountable Internet (A4AI) based on the newly released Mobile Broadband Pricing data for Q4 2018 has shown that the average price of a gigabyte (GB) of data in relation to income increased over the past year (2018) for low-income countries. This new trend worsens the situation considering that low-income countries already face the least affordable mobile broadband prices in the world. The implication of this is that the already-wide digital gap deepens further and act as a barrier to greater socio-economic equality

According to the Mobile Economy Report 2019, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have seen a significant growth in mobile content in Swahili. The number of mobile apps in the language increased from around 5,000 in 2014 to almost 30,000 by 2017. This translates to mean that more people are able to access useful services on mobile because it is in the language they can read and understand.
Kenya alone saw a 16% growth in mobile internet adoption from 2014 to 2017 with over 4 million new users. According to the report, apart from the Swahili content factor, the growth was also supported by good performance in two enablers: infrastructure and affordability.

The government of Canada has allocated in its 2019 budgetan amount of $ 1.7 billion Canadian Dollars to be invested over 13 years in High-speed Internet provide all Canadians access to high-speed internet. The goal is to ensure that the bandwidth gap between rural and urban communities is completely bridged by the year 2030.

The allocation in the 2019 Budget which was announced on 19 March will enhance the Connect to Innovate programmewhich was launched in 2016 to enhance broadband in remote areas of Canada. The budget is proposing a new and coordinated plan that will see further investments within a period of 10 years by which time the minimum speeds of 50/10 Mbps will be achieved for all citizens irrespective of where they live in Canada.

The government of the Netherlands has announced plans to invest more in digital literacy to ensure easy accessibility and usage of ICT enabled services. The devoted budget amount of EUR 425 million for digital literacy covering the years 2020-24, shows an increase of EUR 35 million compared to the amount that was allocated for 2015-19.

Specifically, the money will be channelled into programmes that will help people learn the usage of computers, smart phones and the Internet. According to the government, these are indispensable skills that all citizens must acquire to be able to access critical services in today’s society. The programme implementation will be done by the local government authorities as well as by employers.

The Internet Society and the Pew Research Center have launched research on mobile connectivity in emerging economies. The results of the research conducted in 11 emerging economies have shown, among others, that majorities (67%) think that the mobile phones have been beneficial for education. According to the report, since 2014 public opinions about influence of the internet on education have grown more positive in six of the countries subject to the research (Jordan, South Africa, Kenya, Vietnam, Lebanon and Mexico).

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