Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) has announced its collaboration with the world telecoms industry standards body, International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to work towards getting the unconnected 3.6 billion people in the world affordable internet.
A statement from A4AI said “We are delighted with the opportunity to join forces with ITU to help provide more affordable internet access to the world’s 3.6 billion unconnected.”
In that regard, the two organizations have launched a new joint annual research initiative to produce and publish mobile and fixed broadband pricing and affordability data, covering 207 countries around the world.
“A4AI currently publishes mobile broadband pricing data in 100 low and middle-income countries and now, through this exciting partnership, we will scale up to give more insights into the cost of internet access across the world,” the statement said.
Indeed, in their recent report published August 5, 2020, they noted that some 2.5 billion people in 70 countries in the world are unable to access the internet because of the high cost of mobile phones, explaining that for some of those people, mainly in developing countries, the cheapest phones cost them a quarter of their monthly income.
A4AI noted that the new collaboration is a critical next step to continue to strengthen their partnership and together publish the most reliable and updated set of broadband pricing data across all ITU member states.
This project, it said, will support A4AI’s policy advocacy work and ensure that policymakers and other stakeholders can make decisions based on accurate and reliable data.
The statement added that “This new collaboration will provide the most accurate and trusted publicly available source for broadband pricing and affordability data around the world.”
The data will be accessible to the public via a joint interactive online platform to provide data visualizations and easy access to the data. In addition to publishing the data, A4AI and the ITU will provide analysis and findings based on the data set, including global and regional pricing trends and progress towards affordable access across regions and countries.
This information, it said, is critical to inform and support decisions by policymakers, regulators and private sector stakeholders, as all players work to achieve universal access to affordable broadband.
“This is an important partnership for A4AI and ITU, as we believe that more expansive research on pricing data will further help shed light on the ability for everyone to access affordable and meaningful connectivity around the world, a goal that A4AI and ITU jointly share,” it said.
The initial set of data and analysis will be published on the joint online platform later this year.