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ICTs, LDCs and the SDGs

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Report on the progress made by least developed countries towards universal + affordable Internet with recommendations to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 9C https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-D/LDCs/Pages/ICTs-for-SDGs-in-LDCs-Report.aspx

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ICTs, LDCs and the SDGs

  1. 1. Pre-WTDC-17 Ministerial Roundtable on ICT④SDGs in LDCs, LLDCs & SIDS 8 October, 2017 Vanessa GRAY Head of LDCs, SIDS & Emergency Telecommunications Division BDT/ITU ICTs, LDCs and the SDGs Achieving universal and affordable Internet in the least developed countries
  2. 2. SDG 9C “Significantly increase access to information and communications technology and strive to provide universal and affordable access to the Internet in LDCs by 2020” LDCs & LLDCs SIDS • LDCs: 47 countries highly vulnerable to economic and environmental shocks • Includes 17 LLDCs and 9 SIDS • LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS face related development challenges but are very different in terms of geography, population and level of economic development. Access/ Infrastructure AffordabilityInternet Source: ITU
  3. 3. Highlights • ICTs, in particular basic services and applications over 2G networks, have had a significant impact on development but promise from broadband is even greater • LDCs are on track to achieve SDG 9C in terms of access & affordability • Internet use expected to remain low and skills remain a key barrier • It is possible to leapfrog: sharing experiences from LDCs • 3 dimensional framework - access, affordability & skills – to identify strengths and weaknesses and guide policies
  4. 4. Access/Infrastructure Miles of networks: 1st: International 2nd: National backbone 3rd: User access Plus “Invisible mile”
  5. 5. Explosive growth in access to submarine cables & national backbone infrastructure International • Except for 6 (out of 30) ALL sea-facing LDCs have landing stations • Almost all LLDCs have fiber optic cable cross- border terrestrial links but prices generally higher due to transit • Unconnected SIDS are planning access to submarine cables • Leverage regional economic communities for policy on cost-based & open access to submarine cables National Better backbone infrastructure through: • Access to spectrum/digital dividend • Regulation on rights of way and open access to networks • Infrastructure sharing • Universal Service Funds 27 50 0 20 40 60 80 100 POP 10-km Range POP25-km Range POP50-Km Range POP100-Km Range Population (%) in range of backbone network, LDC average, 2016 Source: ITU
  6. 6. Mobile population coverage in LDCs • Narrowband (2G) Internet coverage high with remaining gaps almost all in rural areas • 61% of population covered by 3G mobile broadband network • 26 LDCs have launched 4G 61 20 65 70 76 77 84 88 89 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 - 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1,000 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Total LDC population 3G 2G 4G Population, (‘000 ) Coverage (%) Source: ITU
  7. 7. Building core Internet infrastructure All 3 30% 2 24% 1 23% None 23% % of LDCs that have 3 fundamental Internet infrastructure components, 2017 22 30 23 0 4 8 12 16 20 24 28 32 36 40 44 48 Root name server ccTLD name server IXP Number of LDCs with: Source: ITU
  8. 8. Affordability
  9. 9. Understanding affordability • Despite price drops, international comparison (ITU price basket) shows that broadband remains unaffordable to many • …but by 2020 will be affordable in many LDCs • Handset biggest barrier to entry • Flexible tariffs help with affordability and operators have adapted to low-income users • Governments can help bring down prices by driving competition and limiting taxes • Backbone constraints for LLDCs and some SIDS 0 10 20 30 40 50 Hourly Nightly Daily >1 day & < 1 week Weekly >1 week & <1 month Monthly Number of LDCs with different mobile broadband Internet bundles Source: ITU
  10. 10. Skills
  11. 11. Skills emerging as leading barrier 54 15 14 7 2 Skills Affordability (equipment) Affordability service charge Access Other Zambia, Barriers to Internet use, 2015• Lack of digital literacy emerging as a leading barrier to Internet use in many LDCs • Digital skills closely linked to educational attainment • Secondary school enrolment in LDCs (43%) lies well below world average (76%) • Strategic ICT sector plans need to highlight the role of, and make link to educational policies • Gender digital divide must be addressed to ensure universality aspect of SDG 9C Source: ITU
  12. 12. 8 16 23 - 20 40 60 80 100 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 25 40 51 61 69 78 88 97 0 20 40 60 80 100 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 3G coverage (% of population) 39 39 39 40 41 41 42 42 0 20 40 60 80 100 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Skills Gross secondary school enrollment (% of age group) 30.3 16.6 14.6 12.0 9.7 7.4 5.0 2.7 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 Affordability Mobile broadband price (% GNI) Internet use (% of population) Target 9C in 2020 Access Source: ITU
  13. 13. It is possible to leapfrog Sao Tome & Principe Bhutan 0 20 40 60 80 100 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Skills Bangladesh Myanmar 0 20 40 60 80 100 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Access Mobile broadband price per month (500 MB, % GNI pc) Tanzania Vanuatu 0 5 10 15 20 2016201520142013 Percentage of the population covered by 3G network Gross secondary school enrolment Affordability Source: ITU
  14. 14. 3 dimensional framework to guide policy makers: access, affordability & skills Nepal Rwanda Sudan Bhutan Access Affordability Skills Main challenge: Access/Skills Main challenge: Skills Source: ITU
  15. 15. Recommendations Drive competition and intensity of competition Coverage obligations, open access regulation & universal service funds Build core infrastructure Rationalize taxation Focus on digital literacy and skills Achieve gender parity Foster institutional strengthening Produce better data
  16. 16. Send your comments to bdtlse@itu.int by Oct. 31, 2017

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