Broadband Commission for Digital Development

Partners: 
Date of commitment: 
May 2010

Commitment

The Commission was created to promote the adoption of broadband-friendly practices and policies to spread the benefits broadband Internet can offer and to ensure that broadband Internet technologies accelerate progress towards meeting the MDGs.

Target

Target 1: Making broadband policy universal. By 2015, all countries should have a national broadband plan or strategy or include broadband in their Universal Access / Service Definitions.
Target 2: Making broadband affordable. By 2015, entry-level broadband services should be made affordable in developing countries through adequate regulation and market forces (amounting to less than 5% of average monthly income).
Target 3: Connecting homes to broadband. By 2015, 40% of households in developing countries should have Internet access.
Target 4: Getting people online. By 2015, Internet user penetration should reach 60% worldwide, 50% in developing countries and 15% in LDCs.

Progress

Target 1: 47 countries (or nearly a quarter of all countries) still do not have any plan, strategy or policy in place. Target 2: Assuming that people can afford broadband when it costs less than 5% of their annual income, fixed broadband access is unaffordable for 3.9 billion people, and mobile broadband unaffordable for over 2.6 billion people around the world. Availability and affordability gaps are disproportionately impacting people in Africa, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. Target 3: Of the 1.1 billion households still not connected to the Internet, 90% are in the developing world. At current growth rates, the 40% target will not be achieved by 2015, but with the rise of the mobile Internet, access may improve very quickly. Target 4: At current growth rates, this target looks unlikely to be achieved. By 2015, the Broadband Commission predicts that despite the growth of mobile broadband, global Internet user penetration will reach 45% worldwide, far short of its target of 60%, while Internet user penetration will reach 37% in developing countries, far short of its target of 50%. Based on ITU data, Intel (2013) forecasts that at current growth rates, Internet user penetration in developing countries will climb above 40% by 2014. Target 5: Sex-disaggregated data are not yet available for broadband connectivity. Based on Internet usage data as a proxy indicator, by the end of 2013, however, ITU estimates that some 1.3 billion Internet users will be women (37% of all women worldwide will be using the Internet), compared with 1.5 billion men online (41% of all men), equivalent to a global Internet gender gap of 200 million fewer women online.

Gap

Deep divide in broadband Internet access and price between developed and developing countries remains.
Target 1: 47 countries (or nearly a quarter of all countries) still do not have any plan, strategy or policy in place.
Target 2: Assuming that people can afford broadband when it costs less than 5% of their annual income, fixed broadband access is unaffordable for 3.9 billion people, and mobile broadband unaffordable for over 2.6 billion people around the world. Availability and affordability gaps are disproportionately impacting people in Africa, Asia Pacific, and Latin America.
Target 3: Of the 1.1 billion households still not connected to the Internet, 90% are in the developing world. At current growth rates, the 40% target will not be achieved by 2015, but with the rise of the mobile Internet, access may improve very quickly.
Target 4: At current growth rates, this target looks unlikely to be achieved. By 2015, the Broadband Commission predicts that despite the growth of mobile broadband, global Internet user penetration will reach 45% worldwide, far short of its target of 60%, while Internet user penetration will reach 37% in developing countries, far short of its target of 50%. Based on ITU data, Intel (2013) forecasts that at current growth rates, Internet user penetration in developing countries will climb above 40% by 2014.
Target 5: The gender gap is more pronounced in the developing world, where 16% fewer women than men use the Internet, compared with only 2% fewer women than men in the developed world (ITU, 2013). Without further action, Intel (2013) forecasts that the Internet gender gap could grow to a total gender gap of 350 million in three years’ time. This suggests that, in many countries, women are coming online more slowly and later than men, with serious implications for the ability of women to use the Internet to access information and develop the vital ICT skills needed to participate and work in today’s digital economy.

Additionality

See also other relevant commitments on Internet access, the MDG indicators for access to new technologies, the Istanbul Plan of Action commitment.