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UK Ranks 8th in ICT Index and 2Mbps is the Minimum for a Third of Countries

Tuesday, Oct 8th, 2013 (8:49 am) - Score 1,763

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has published its annual Measuring the Information Society (MIS) report (Q4 – 2012 data), which ranked the United Kingdom 8th overall for its access (e.g. broadband Internet), use and skills in Information and Communication Technology (up from 11th last year).

As usual South Korea topped the ICT Development Index (IDI) table, which also predicts that 40% of the entire world will be online by the end of 2013 (currently 2.7 billion people). Sadly 1.1 billion households (around 4.4 billion people) remain unconnected (though the number of homes connected has increased by 18% CAGR since 2008) and as you’d expect some 90% of those are in the developing world.

global ict development index

Mobile Broadband services delivered over Smartphones and Tablet computers were, much as with other similar reports, found to have become the fastest growing segment of the global ICT market. The report noted that related 3G data networks are growing at an average annual rate of 40% (i.e. 2.1 billion mobile bb subscriptions and a global penetration rate of almost 30%). Overall there are now a total of 6.8 billion mobile-cellular subscriptions and almost 50% of the entire worldwide population are now covered via a 3G network.

The affordability of broadband Internet access has also improved, with prices in over 160 countries falling by a whopping 82% between 2008 and 2012. In terms of fixed broadband prices, people in the United Kingdom (ranked 7th overall in this category) pay just 0.7% of their average monthly income per capita (GNI p.c.) for the service or about £13 ($20.8). Not bad when compared with the current global average of 22.1% (note: the UN’s global target for 2015 is 5%).

Mind you this fails to consider the rising price of fixed phone line rental, especially in the United Kingdom, which often seems to mitigate the falling cost of broadband. Elsewhere the average Price Per Megabit of Speed (Mbps) also decreased significantly between 2008 and 2012, with a global median price of $19.50 per Mbps in 2012, which is almost a quarter of the price that was being charged in 2008. Prices in developing countries have also been falling faster than those of developed nations where related markets tend to be more saturated.

global ict fixed broadband prices

In terms of fixed-broadband speed, 2Mbps+ is now considered to be the minimum ADVERTISED Internet download speed in almost one-third of all countries. But sadly around one-fifth of countries still offer plans with speeds of just 256Kbps (0.25Mbps), which is at least an improvement on 2008 when 256Kbps was the most popular offer overall.

global ict broadband speeds

The full summary report can be downloaded below.

Measuring the Information Society Report 2013 (PDF)

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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