A global coalition working to make broadband affordable for all

Policy & Research

Examining the State of Affordable Internet in Bangladesh

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Bangladesh boasts relatively affordable Internet, with the price of 500MB of broadband below the Broadband Commission’s 5% target. Yet, less than 10% of the country’s population uses the Internet. What accounts for this disparity? Our newest country case study explores the current state of affordable Internet access in Bangladesh, examining the history and growth of the country’s telecom sector, the policies currently governing the sector, and the policies and questions to be addressed in order for the country to overcome remaining barriers to access.


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Ghana, one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most influential nations, has prioritized ICT investment in recent years. This case study – which is intended to be a snapshot, not an exhaustive exploration of issues – briefly analyses the status quo, summarizes the policy environment, and presents some challenges and opportunities facing Ghana in the country’s quest to make broadband truly affordable.


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Despite boasting the sixth-highest GDP in Latin America, Peru’s Internet penetration rate is among the lowest in the region. The adoption of progressive policies and development of new infrastructure has contributed to decreased broadband prices in urban areas of the country, however significant cost and infrastructure barriers prevent the rural population from coming online. This case study – our first to focus on a Latin American country – examines Peru’s ambitious National Broadband Plan and briefly identifies some of the key steps the country is taking to drive down the cost of Internet access for ordinary Peruvians.

Affordability Report 2013

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The first edition of A4AI’s annual Affordability Report was published on 8 December 2013. The report takes an in-depth look at broadband affordability around the globe, and makes policy recommendations designed to drive prices down. Click here to download the full report, or click here to see a presentation outlining the results as delivered by Dr Bitange Ndemo on 8 December.
A4AI is committed to undertaking our research in a transparent fashion – we hope that others will use our data sets to build upon and interrogate. To this end, links to two data files in .xlsx format are provided below. These are:
1. The Affordability Index Data set, which includes the normalized data, i.e. all the raw data were transformed onto one scale so that we could combine them meaningfully in one index – we use ‘z-scores’ and the ‘min-max’ to normalize.
2. A raw data set, which includes all data as taken from the data source, including World Bank, ITU, WEF, Web Index survey, etc. – except where we needed to divide by variables like per capita income, population, GDP, etc, to get a figure per 100 people or as a percentage of average income, for example.

Policy and Regulatory Good Practices

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A4AI has produced an outline of policy and regulatory good practices which will drive down the cost of Internet access. We believe that key policy levers to drive down prices include allowing innovative allocation of spectrum, promoting infrastructure sharing, and increasing transparency and public participation in regulatory decisions. This set of practices has been endorsed by all members and will guide our work.

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