Achieving Universal and Affordable Internet in the Least Developed Countries

ICTs, LDCs and the SDGs

image of Achieving Universal and Affordable Internet in the Least Developed Countries

This report provides insights into the great strides that Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have made in regard to information and communication technology access, and the opportunities that ICTs offer in addressing severe structural impediments to sustainable development in this group of countries. Today, there is a clear recognition of the importance of information and communication technologies. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes that “the spread of information and communications technology and global interconnectedness has great potential to accelerate human progress, to bridge the digital divide and to develop knowledge societies”.



Making the Internet affordable

Affordable access to the Internet in LDCs is a target of the Sustainable Development Goals. This chapter considers affordability from a range of angles. It outlines the basket approach for benchmarking Internet prices across LDCs. It also considers ways operators adapt pricing schemes to low-income groups within the LDCs through different Internet data bundles. Considering that prepaid Internet bundles are often linked to a volume of data, information on different data consumption patterns in LDCs is investigated. The chapter also discusses the use of Over the Top applications and zero-rated access to certain applications in LDCs and their regulatory implications. It also considers the important role of a vibrantly competitive market for not only reducing prices but also a diversity of different data plans.


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