The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) is the world’s broadest technology sector coalition, bringing together more than 60 diverse organisations from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. We’re working to deliver affordable access to the Internet, and helping billions more to take advantage of the health, education, employment and other benefits that come with being connected.
Today, over 60% of the world’s population remain unconnected to the Internet, entrenching a digital divide that severely hampers socio-economic growth and progress. While Internet use in the developed world is near universal – with four in five people connected – only 32% of people in the developing world are online. Why? Cost is one of the primary reasons. An entry-level fixed-broadband connection costs nearly a third of monthly income in the developing world and over 60% across Africa. Users in the developed world pay just 1.7%. Mobile broadband is slightly cheaper, but remains prohibitively expensive in developing countries—compare the 1.2-2.2% of monthly income it costs to connect to an entry-level mobile-broadband plan in developed countries with the 11.3-24.7% it costs to connect in developing countries.
Our work is squarely focused on reforming policy and regulations. While new and innovative technological solutions to affordability challenges are constantly emerging, the best technologies in the world won’t help if outdated or ill-conceived policies and regulations prevent them from doing so. By working directly with national governments and a wide range of key stakeholders, A4AI aims to bring outdated policy and regulatory frameworks into the digital age, and to realize the UN Broadband Commission goal of entry-level broadband services priced at less than 5% of average monthly income.