To Grow a Digital Economy, Build an Internet for Everyone

To Grow a Digital Economy, Build an Internet for Everyone

News Update |

Good broadband policy today is the key to a strong, thriving digital economy in the future.

Broadband policy issues are often discussed as an afterthought or as a promising proposal for technological revolution with minimal investment. Broadband policy is a smart investment – when done right. Done wrong, it leaves unaffordable data and handset costs – keeping people offline and limiting network coverage for entire communities or regions.

Broadband policy can help economies grow and address societal issues, but it needs high-level commitment to expand connectivity and build wide foundations for a digital economy that has room for growth. Learning from case studies across the Global South, here are five actions policymakers can take to lower internet prices, expand connectivity, and build a thriving digital economy:

1. Make ambitious broadband plans, with long-term vision and targets for inclusion. Countries like Malaysia and Colombia consistently score well on the Affordability Drivers Index because of the long-term vision within their national broadband planning and regular iterations. Malaysia’s National Broadband Initiative prioritised connecting rural communities to create the inclusive, nationwide demand for internet that now sustains one of the world’s most competitive mobile broadband markets. Authorities in Colombia similarly provided a welcoming environment for investment with their sector stability.

This article was first published by the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) on March 03, 2020.

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