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Focus Group Promotion and use of the Internet infrastructure in developing countries Bonn, 15-16 December 1998 Michael Minges Telecommunication Development.

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Presentation on theme: "Focus Group Promotion and use of the Internet infrastructure in developing countries Bonn, 15-16 December 1998 Michael Minges Telecommunication Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 Focus Group Promotion and use of the Internet infrastructure in developing countries Bonn, December 1998 Michael Minges 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

2 2 The world gets connected... August 1981: 213 Internet hosts Several thousand users July 1998: 37 million Internet hosts ~150 million users Practically every country in the world has some Internet activity Source: ITU,

3 3 …but distribution is unequal More hosts in Finland (514000) than all of Latin America (386000). More hosts in Australia, Japan and New Zealand ( ) than all the rest of Asia-Pacific region (538000). Over sixteen times as many hosts in New York City (132000) than all of Africa (excluding South Africa (7850)). Source: ITU.

4 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 Relevant analysis is why countries have different Internet penetration than expected. Source: ITU. See for info about Human Development Index.

5 5 The Internet user profile Male Urban Young WealthyEducated Which are barriers and which are prerequisites?

6 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). Source: Comisión Federal de Telecomunicaciones

7 7 Internet diffusion barriers Price –Personal computer –ISP –Telephone call charge Infrastructure –Telecom network –Internet gateways Content –Language –National sites Awareness

8 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: Note: 20 hours of off-peak use. US$. November Not including connection or monthly line rental. Source: ITU. Internet monthly charges

9 9 On a collision course

10 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

11 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 Chinese web pages have grown from less than 100 in 1994 to over by Number of Chinese web sites around China Internet users 000s Source: ITU, Forecast

12 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. 92% 32% 2% All adults aged m All who are aware of Internet 1.93m All who ever bought via Internet 40,000 All who ever used Internet 677,000 Singapore: Level of Internet Awareness

13 13 The Geography of Cyberspace Countries with high Internet penetration tend to be geographic or psychological islands leading to a sense of isolation. Developing countrieswhich often feel isolated from the global information economythus possess a significant driver of Internet demand. Source: ITU, adapted from

14 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 addresses accessible through post offices. Ghana: Telecom & Internet penetration Source: ITU.

15 15 Conclusions awarenessRaise awareness –Educating citizens about Internet uses and how to use it accessibilityEnhance accessibility –Spreading availability to those who cannot afford to use Internet by widespread proliferation of public access points relevantMake it relevant –Make sure Internet has national relevance by encouraging development of national content policyUnderstand policy implications –Complex regulatory issues that involve trade-offs between costs, prices, technological innovation and universal access

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