Internet & Developing Countries

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Information about Internet & Developing Countries
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Published on December 24, 2008

Author: minges

Source: authorstream.com

Internet & Developing Countries : Focus Group Promotion and use of the Internet infrastructure in developing countries Bonn, 15-16 December 1998 Michael Minges <minges@itu.int> Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) International Telecommunication Union (ITU) The views expressed are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the opinion of the ITU or its Members. Internet & Developing Countries The world gets connected... : 2 The world gets connected... August 1981:213 Internet hostsSeveral thousand users July 1998:37 million Internet hosts~150 million users Practically every country in the world has some Internet activity Source: ITU, http://www.nw.com/zone/host-count-history …but distribution is unequal : 3 …but distribution is unequal More hosts in Finland (514’000) than all of Latin America (386’000). More hosts in Australia, Japan and New Zealand (2’280’000) than all the rest of Asia-Pacific region (538’000). Over sixteen times as many hosts in New York City (132’000) than all of Africa (excluding South Africa (7’850)). Source: ITU. Levels of Internet development : 4 Levels of Internet development Internet penetration related to level of socio-economic development. Four stages of Internet development; see The Mosaic Group for more www.agsd.com/gdi97/gdi97-2.html Relevant analysis is why countries have different Internet penetration than expected. Source: ITU. See http://www.undp.org/hdro/ for info about Human Development Index. The Internet user profile : 5 The Internet user profile Male Urban Young Wealthy Educated Which are barriers and which are prerequisites? Academic users : 6 Academic users Emerging countries that were early to come online did so through academic initiatives and have large educational user bases (e.g., Central and Eastern Europe & parts of Latin America). This is not the case for countries that have come online more recently and academic connectivity is poor (e.g., Africa and Asia). http://www.cft.gob.mx/html/5_est/graficas/Tbl7_pag37.html Source: Comisión Federal de Telecomunicaciones Internet diffusion barriers : 7 Internet diffusion barriers Price Personal computer ISP Telephone call charge Infrastructure Telecom network Internet gateways Content Language National sites Awareness Price : 8 Price Many users do not pay for Internet access (schools & business). Telephone call charges affect overall price of Internet access. Some countries have adopted policies reducing call charges for Internet access. User rebellion growing over high telephone charges; see Campaign for Unmetered Communications: www.unmetered.org.uk Note: 20 hours of off-peak use. US$. November 1998. Not including connection or monthly line rental. Source: ITU. Internet monthly charges On a collision course : 9 On a collision course Infrastructure : 10 Infrastructure Telecom infrastructure limitations holding back Internet diffusion in developing countries. Internet demand is influencing telecom development Voice+: Bundling Internet service with telephone service Content : 11 Content Growing national content is driving Chinese Internet usage. China only came online in May 1994 but is already forecast to be 2nd largest Internet market in Asia by 2001. Chinese web pages have grown from less than 100 in 1994 to over 250’000 by 1997. Number of Chinese web sites around 10’000. China Internet users 000s Source: ITU, http://www.virtualchina.com/matrix/#stats Awareness : 12 Awareness Singapore is typical of developed countries where there is a high level of awareness of the Internet In developing countries, which tend to have lower levels of literacy and media exposure, many citizens are unaware of the Internet and its benefits Source: National Computer Board. http://www.ec.gov.sg/ECSurvey.html The Geography of Cyberspace : 13 The Geography of Cyberspace Countries with high Internet penetration tend to be geographic or psychological islands leading to a sense of isolation. Developing countries¾which often feel isolated from the global information economy¾thus possess a significant driver of Internet demand. Source: ITU, adapted from www.nw.com. Ghana gets on the info-highway : 14 Ghana gets on the info-highway Liberalization of telecom sector has increased availability of communication infrastructure. Ghana came online in August 1995, first West African country to do so. Project to provide 30’000 e-mail addresses accessible through post offices. Ghana: Telecom & Internet penetration Source: ITU. Conclusions : 15 Conclusions Raise awareness Educating citizens about Internet uses and how to use it Enhance accessibility Spreading availability to those who cannot afford to use Internet by widespread proliferation of public access points Make it relevant Make sure Internet has national relevance by encouraging development of national content Understand policy implications Complex regulatory issues that involve trade-offs between costs, prices, technological innovation and universal access Slide 16: 16

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