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Wireless Broadband Alliance Names London UK “the most connected city”

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017 (12:29 pm) - Score 563
london uk broadband internet city

A new report from the Wireless Broadband Alliance, which examined the levels of urban and rural connectivity across 8 major countries, has found that London is the most connected city (7% of citizens are unconnected) but 1.75bn citizens in the world’s richest countries (by GDP) remain unconnected.

The study examined levels of connectivity in Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, Russia, the UK and the USA. The good news is that the UK does quite well. For example, 19% of people in New York City were found to be “unconnected” (1.600 million) and this falls to 17% in Moscow (2.154 million). However at the other end of the spectrum there were Delhi (29% or 5.331 million) and Sao Paulo (36% or 4.349 million).

The UK also does quite well in terms of this proportional country comparison.

wba unconnected citizens by rich country 2017

The report rather unsurprisingly finds that Internet adoption “has been faster in cities than in rural areas” (no surprise here because rural areas have fewer premises and cost more to upgrade), although it claims that urban areas still face significant challenges in getting people online. Examples of these challenges include limited spending power, lack of availability of technology, lack of awareness of the benefits gained from using the internet and poor IT literacy levels.

In particular, New York’s “greatest barrier” to connectivity was found to be a lack of quality and affordability broadband connections, while in London the issues were more varied and focused on poor IT skills, limited spending power and a lack of understanding of the benefits provided by being connected.

Shrikant Shenwai, CEO of the WBA, said:

“Connectivity is now an essential commodity, much in the same category as power and water. Yet many people in some of the world’s major cities are still without an internet connection. Wi-Fi is playing an instrumental role in helping cities bring wider and more affordable connectivity to its citizens.

The issue of the urban unconnected is of critical importance the economies and societies around the world. We call on Governments around the world to re-double their focus on connecting the urban unconnected. It’s vital that internet access becomes recognized as a human right, and that all stakeholders involved in the provision of broadband work together to make this happen.”

As usual the WBA, which is a forum for wireless broadband operators who pioneer in global roaming over public WiFi networks, has a vested interest in pushing their own solutions. The full report can be downloaded here, although you’ll need to register with the WBA first and we weren’t able to get their system to work.

It’s also worth remembering that not everybody in society wants to use the internet, although Governments around the world appear keen to force such changes upon their citizens (usually as part of cost saving moves). On top of that there’s also a need to deliver universal coverage of affordable superfast broadband connections, which should perhaps come before any ‘digital by default‘ style strategy.

Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. Avatar timeless

    no surprises there, after all thats where all the money is, everyone else just has to bare with what trickles out of the city.

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