On December 8, 2013, A4AI unveiled the first edition of our annual Affordability Report at the ICTD Conference in Cape Town. A key finding we highlight is that for those living on less than US$2/day, entry-level broadband costs an average of 40% of monthly income, and in many countries this figure exceeds 80% or 100%. As a result, billions cannot afford to get online, entrenching the digital divide and constraining economic and social progress.
The Report also includes an ‘Affordability Index’, which ranks nations across communications infrastructure and access and affordability indicators fundamental to achieving affordable Internet. Malaysia, Mauritius and Brazil top the Index, with Morocco ranked as the leading developing country. Zimbabwe, Malawi and Yemen prop up the foot of the table.
The report concludes by making some key policy and regulatory recommendations capable of driving real change.
The full PDF of the Affordability Report can be downloaded by clicking here, whilst a summary presentation can be viewed here.
Commenting on the report, Dr Bitange Ndemo, honorary chairperson of A4AI and the immediate former Permanent Secretary of Kenya’s Ministry of Information and Communications, said:
“The Affordability Report must serve as a spur to action for policymakers, businesses and civil society organisations around the globe. In just two years, the UN Broadband Commission target is for everyone, everywhere to be able to access broadband Internet at a cost of less than 5% of their monthly income. Our data shows that there is a long way to go before this goal is reached, particularly for the world’s poorest people.”
Sonia Jorge, executive director of A4AI added:
“Within our findings, there are beacons of hope. Countries such as Malaysia, Brazil or Morocco, which top our Affordability Index, show how rapid progress can be made when innovative technologies are twinned with an enabling, forward-looking policy and regulatory environment which stimulates supply as well as demand. A4AI is committed to working hand-in-hand with countries to help drive down the cost of broadband.”
We hope that this piece of research proves a significant contribution and we welcome your feedback!