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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
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
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
Access/Infrastructure
Miles of networks:
1st: International
2nd: National backbone
3rd: User access
Plus “Invisible mile”
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
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
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
Affordability
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
Skills
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
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
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
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
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
Send your comments to
bdtlse@itu.int by Oct. 31, 2017

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ICTs, LDCs and the SDGs

  • 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. 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. 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. Access/Infrastructure Miles of networks: 1st: International 2nd: National backbone 3rd: User access Plus “Invisible mile”
  • 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. 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. 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
  • 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
  • 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Send your comments to bdtlse@itu.int by Oct. 31, 2017

Editor's Notes

  1. LDCs have made rapid progress towards achieving universal access and affordability of the Internet. If recent growth rates hold, they will be on track to reach over 90% mobile broadband coverage and prices of less than 5% of income. Of course this masks huge differences between the LDCs but reflects that some of them will have largely achieved the universality and affordability criteria by 2020. However the prospects for widespread use of the Internet by 2020 are poor. At current growth, less than 25% of the LDC’s population will be online. School enrollment rates are not expected to increase by much over the next years.