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 Thursday, July 01, 2010

Americans use a range of approaches to keep informed about what is happening in their communities and online activities have been added to the mix. Face-to-face encounters and phone calls remain the most frequent methods of interaction with neighbors. At the same time, internet tools are gaining ground in community-oriented communications. In a poll conducted at the end of last year, we asked about online connections to communities and neighbors and found that in the twelve months preceding our survey:

- 22% of all adults (representing 28% of internet users) signed up to receive alerts about local issues (such as traffic, school events, weather warnings or crime alerts) via email or text messaging.

- 20% of all adults (27% of internet users) used digital tools to talk to their neighbors and keep informed about community issues.

 

(Source: Pew Research Center)

Full story

Pew Research Center

Thursday, July 01, 2010 3:37:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Text messaging rises sharply among teens and is now their most frequent form of communication with friends. 72% of those ages 12-17 now are texters and the average young text user exchanges 1,500 texts per month.

Cell phones are mixed blessing to American families, bringing safety and connection along with disruption and irritation. Daily text messaging among American teens has shot up in the past 18 months from 38% of teens texting friends daily in February of 2008, to 54% of teens texting daily in September 2009. In fact, text messaging has become the most frequent way that teens reach their friends, surpassing face-to-face meetings, email, instant messaging and voice calling as a daily communications tool. However, cell phone calling is still the preferred mode that teens use to connect with their parents.

 

(Source: Pew Research Center)

Full story

Pew Research Center

Wednesday, April 21, 2010 10:25:36 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, April 25, 2008

The United Nations (UN) recently launched the e-Government Survey 2008: From E-Government to Connected Governance assessing the e-government readiness of the 192 Member States of the UN. The study results are based on a quantitative composite index of e-readiness, including website assessment, telecommunication infrastructure, and human resource endowment.

One of the key outcomes of the study is that information and communication technologies (ICTs) can help reinvent government in such a way that existing institutional arrangements can be restructured and new innovative approaches can flourish, paving the way for a transformed government.

The focus of the report, in Part II, is e-government initiatives directed at improving operational efficiency through the integration of back-office functions. Whilst such initiatives, if successful, will deliver benefits to citizens, the primary purpose is to improve the effectiveness of government and governmental agencies. Models of back-office integration, irrespective of the delivery mode, fall into three broad categories: single function integration, cross functional integration, and back-office to front-office integration. The level of complexity, expressed in terms of the number of functions within the scope and number of organizations involved, is the primary factor influencing a successful outcome - with a tendency amongst the more ambitious projects to fail to deliver the full anticipated benefits. The key variables involved in the delivery of back-office integration are the people, processes and technology required.

The report is available at the website of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the UN's Public Administration Programme. For more information, click here.

Friday, April 25, 2008 3:23:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 26, 2008

According to a report from vendor Mcafee, the growing number of cyber criminals in areas of Asia and Eastern-Europe is the result of a lack of IT jobs for qualified professionals. Joe Telafici, vice president of operations at Mcafee says that "the motivation to engage in illegal behavior is strong in Eastern Europe where technical skills were widely taught during the Cold War but economic opportunities are limited. The same is true in Asia, where population growth has stretched strong economic performance to the limits." In China, 43 per cent of IT graduates are unemployed, and hacker "training" web sites are creating a pool of effective malware authors and paying them like a legitimate business.

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008 9:49:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 18, 2008

OECD, through its Working Party on Indicators for the Information Society, developed Measuring the Impacts of ICT Using Official Statistics. This paper presents available (mainly official) statistics on the impacts of ICT and discusses a number of statistical issues associated with ICT impact measurement. It attempts to place ICT impacts measurement into an Information Society conceptual framework and suggests a number of areas for further work.

Read the full paper here.

Monday, February 18, 2008 9:51:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 28, 2008

According to Security experts at Sophos, 6,000 new infected webpages are discovered every day, 83 per cent of which belonging to innocent companies and individuals that are unaware of their sites being compromised. Sophos further reports that the well-known iFrame vulnerability in Internet Explorer remained the preferred vector for malware attacks throughout last year with China (51.4 per cent) and the US (23.4 per cent) leading in the net security firm's list of malware-hosting countries. According to PandaLabs, "around half a million computers are infected by bots every day... [and] approximately 11 percent of computers worldwide have become a part of criminal botnets, which are responsible for 85 percent of all spam sent."

Read the full article on The Register.
Read relevant article on Slashdot.

Monday, January 28, 2008 9:55:20 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 17, 2008

The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs recently released the UN e-Government Survey 2008: From e-Government to Connected Governance, which presents an assessment of the new role of the government in enhancing public service delivery, while improving the efficiency and productivity of government processes and systems. It comprises two parts including a section which presents the findings of the UN e-Government Survey 2008 and a section focusing on the ‘how to’ approach connected governance.

For more information on the survey, visit the Global E-Government Survey 2008 website.
Access the complete survey here.

Thursday, January 17, 2008 9:18:21 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 03, 2007

The CSI Survey 2007, the 12th of its kind, by the Computer Security Institute, aims to raise the level of security awareness, as well as help determine the scope of computer crime in the United States. The survey strongly suggests in this year’s results that mounting threats are beginning to materialize as mounting losses. The survey results are based on the responses of 494 computer security practitioners in U.S. corporations, government agencies, financial institutions, medical institutions and universities.

Among the key findings from this year’s survey are:

  • The average annual loss reported in this year’s survey shot up to $350,424 from $168,000 the previous year. Not since the 2004 report have average losses been this high.
  • Almost one-fifth (18 percent) of those respondents who suffered one or more kinds of security incident further said they’d suffered a “targeted attack,” defined as a malware attack aimed exclusively at their organization or at organizations within a small subset of the general population.
  • Financial fraud overtook virus attacks as the source of the greatest financial losses. Virus losses, which had been the leading cause of loss for seven straight years, fell to second place. If separate categories concerned with the loss of customer and proprietary data are lumped together, however, then that combined category would be the second-worst cause of financial loss. Another significant cause of loss was system penetration by outsiders.
  • Insider abuse of network access or e-mail (such as trafficking in pornography or pirated software) edged out virus incidents as the most prevalent security problem, with 59 and 52 percent of respondents reporting each respectively.
  • When asked generally whether they’d suffered a security incident, 46 percent of respondents said yes, down from 53 percent last year and 56 percent the year before.
  • The percentage of organizations reporting computer intrusions to law enforcement continued upward after reversing a multi-year decline over the past two years, standing now at 29 percent as compared to 25 percent in last year’s report.

For the complete detailed survey results, click here.

Monday, December 03, 2007 10:28:54 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 28, 2007

ENISA recently launched its latest Position Paper, "Botnets - The Silent Threat", a 12-page paper identifying roles and structures of criminal organizations for creating and controlling botnets, and trends in this type of cyber crime as well as online tools to identify and counter malicious code. ENISA points out that browser exploits account for more than 60% of all infections, email attachments for 13%, operating system exploits for 11%, and downloaded Internet files for 9%. It also emphasizes that the main problem is uninformed users. ENISA, thus, calls for "a more coordinated, cross country cooperation among multi-national law enforcement agencies, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and software vendors" to combat botnets, and further adds that education of the everyday user is a key measure.

For further information, read ENISA's press release or access the full ENISA Position Paper.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 10:00:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 27, 2007

USA Today reports on the current spam statistics, and reiterates how spam continues to exponentially increase despite anti-spam softwares, filters and legislations. According to market researcher IDC, "the total number of spam e-mail messages sent worldwide, 10.8 trillion, will surpass the number of person-to-person e-mails sent, 10.5 trillion." Spam sent is also said to have reached 60 billion to 150 billion messages a day. As for phishing, the Anti-Phishing Working Group said new phishing sites soared to 30,999 as of July 2007, from 14,191 in July 2006. MessageLabs adds that one in 87 e-mails is tagged as phishing scams now, compared with one in 500 a year ago.

The fight against spam has nonetheless expanded and grown too. Built-in spam defenses of Google's Gmail, social-networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace which enable users to control who has access to their personal profile, to exchange e-mail with friends, family and business associates, and phishing filters provided by Microsoft on its Internet Explorer browser are some of the common filters made available to users. In the same effort to stop spam, Yahoo, eBay and PayPal recently announced their use of DomainKeys, an e-mail-authentication technology. Other anti-spam technologies include CertifiedEmail from Goodmail Systems, a new breed of e-mail services, and Boxbe. "The multilayered-defense approach has worked to stop such scourges as image spam, which varied the content of individual messages — through colors, backgrounds, picture sizes or font types — to slip through spam filters. Image spam made up half of all spam in January. Since software makers came up with a solution, image spam has dropped to 8% of all spam, Symantec says."

Read the full article here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007 2:23:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 01, 2007

The Anti-Malware Engineering Team, the team that builds the core antivirus, antispyware, anti-rootkit, and related technology used across a number of Microsoft products and technologies, posted on their blog recent "Storm" worm statistics based on the latest release of the Malicious Software Removal Tool (MSRT) developed and updated by Microsoft’s Malware Protection Center (MMPC). According to the Anti-Malware Engineering Team, as of 2PM on Tuesday, PDT, 18 September 2007, "the Renos family of malware has been removed from 668,362 distinct machines. The Zlob family has been removed from 664,258 machines. And the Nuwar family has been removed from 274,372 machines. In total, malware has been removed by this month’s MSRT from 2,574,586 machines." It has also been reported that another anti-malware researcher who has been tracking these recent attacks presented data that shows that the team knocked out approximately one-fifth of "Storm's" Denial of Service (DoS) capability on 11 September. No continued decrease was evident though since the first day which was presumably due to a newer version of the software that the criminals behind the deployment of the "Storm" botnet has apparently immediately released.

Read the full article here.

Monday, October 01, 2007 3:44:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Eric Bangeman of Ars Technica reports on the growing power of PSP on the internet today. According to a new survey from ipoque, a German traffic management and analysis firm, P2P traffic is dominating the Internet these days with ipoque's "preliminary results" showing that P2P applications account from anywhere between 50 percent and 90 percent of all Internet traffic. The final survey results are not yet available and will presented at the Emerging Technology Conference at MIT later this month.

During the last year, BitTorrent accounted for between 50 percent to 75 percent of all P2P traffic, with eDonkey coming in second at between 5 percent and 50 percent. ipoque's data appears at odds with that of Ellacoya Networks, a company that makes deep packet inspection gear. The company said in June that P2P traffic accounts for just 37 percent of North American traffic, compared with 46 percent for HTTP traffic. Of that 46 percent, over a third consisted of streaming video, à la YouTube.

Despite the differences in how the traffic is broken out, ipoque and Ellacoya's data both illustrate much of the P2P traffic reported by both firms is video. With the surge in traffic of YouTube and other video sites, as well as the official upcoming launch of Joost, demand for high-bandwidth applications like video is definitely increasing. This has resulted to ISPs' interest in deep packet inspection and other traffic-shaping tools.

Read full article here.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007 2:55:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sophos recently released its global statistics naming the top 12 spam-relaying countries for the period between April to June 2007. The US and China tops the list, while Europe, on the other hand, houses six of the top 12 countries mentioned in the statistics, which when combined, account for even more spam-relaying than the U.S. The statistics reveal as well that the overall global volume of spam rose by 9% during the second quarter, when compared to the same period in 2006.

"'While the US remains top spam dog, the latest chart emphasises the urgent need for joined-up global action to combat this growing problem,' said Carole Theriault, senior security consultant at Sophos. 'For every spam campaign, the spammers, the compromised computers used, and the people being deluged by the unsolicited mail are often located in totally different parts of the world. A consolidated effort is needed not only to pursue and prosecute spammers, but also to convince computer users everywhere of the importance of blocking rather than responding to spam messages. Everyone has a part to play if we are to win the global battle against spam.'"

Statistics on spam relayed by continent, however, show Asia as the top spam-relaying continent with the number of Asian nations relaying smaller amounts of spam. Europe, which topped the chart in the first quarter of 2007, has reduced its percentage by 6.6 percent and fallen to second place. Asia, North America, South America and Africa have all seen rises in spam-relaying activity.

Read the full article here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007 9:08:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 16, 2007

OECD recently released their Communications Outlook Report, a discussion and an analysis of market structures and recent policy developments. Among the topics discussed was the chapter on main trends in pricing in telecommunication services. It has been noted that with the dramatic increase in Broadband speeds, subscription costs have either remained constant or have been reduced. Based on monthly subscriptions, Sweden has the cheapest broadband plan with $10.47 a month, and US ranks fourth with $15.93 a month. With regard to the newest broadband technology: Fiber, Japan NTT residential connection (100 Mbps down/up) costs $49 a month, and in the US, Verizon FiOS (30 megabits down/5 megabits up) costs $191.20.

More on the OECD Communications Outlook Report here.

Related article may also be accessed at GigaOM.

Monday, July 16, 2007 8:56:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 01, 2007

Kaspersky Lab, a developer of secure content management solutions, recently announced its annual report on malware and spam evolution. The report, authored by Kaspersky Lab analysts, surveys the trends of 2006 and looks at what 2007 may bring.

Malware Evolution: 2006. The report provides an overview of the most important incidents in the malware world, highlights the main trends, and examines how the situation will evolve. Particular stress is laid on the continuing increase in the number of Trojan programs, particularly those designed to steal online gaming account data; the first viruses and worms for MacOS; and Trojans for J2ME, which are designed to steal funds from mobile user accounts. The number of new malicious programs was up 41% on 2005. As for the future evolution of malicious programs, Kaspersky Lab virus analysts believe that virus writers and spammers will work ever more closely together; the number of Trojans will continue to increase; and that virus writers will be on the lookout for exploitable vulnerabilities in Vista.

Spam Evolution: 2006. Data provided by the Kaspersky Spam Lab shows that in 2006, between 70% and 80% of mail traffic on the Russian Internet was spam. The majority of spam sent to Russian users originates in Russia, the U.S.A. and China. Spammers actively used graphics in order to evade spam filters. They are also continued to send spam masquerading as personal correspondence in order to get the recipient to read the whole message and then act as the spammers intended, whether by calling a designated number or clicking on a link. The report on spam evolution also highlights how mass mailings differ from each other according to language: most Russian language spam offers education and training, and a wide range of goods ranging from busts of the Russian president to a device which will 'translate' a dog's bark. English language spam, on the other hand, tends to focus on advertising for stocks and shares, viagra and cheap software. The report also notes that spam became increasingly criminalized in 2006, with spammers actively using SMS to spread spam.

The company's analysts believe that technologies currently in use will continue to evolve in 2007, together with further development of graphical spam, and increased criminalization of mass mailings.

Read the executive summaries here: Malware Evolution: 2006 and Spam Evolution: 2006.
The full annual report can be found here.  

This news item was accessed through Russia Newswire.

Thursday, March 01, 2007 4:03:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, December 04, 2006

The eighth edition of the ITU Internet Reports, entitled "digital.life" was prepared especially for ITU TELECOM World 2006 (December 4-8 2006, Hong Kong)and is available now online. The report examines how innovation in digital technology is radically changing individual and societal lifestyles.

Chapter one: going digital outlines the meanings of "digital" and reflects on the many ways of being digital. Around one in every three people on the planet now carries a digital mobile phone around with them wherever they go. Globally, more hours are spent consuming digital media, such as the internet, than any analogue media, including television and radio. Digital technologies are transforming businesses and governments, and changing the ways we live and interact. We are witnessing what has been termed a “digital revolution”, which had its beginnings in the early 1980s and refers to the replacement of analogue devices and services with their digital successors. This technological shift has brought about considerable change in the human condition itself, especially in its socioeconomic and cultural aspects.

The transition from narrowband to broadband digital networks (figure below) is now well-advanced in the fixed-line world where there were some 216 million broadband subscribers across the world at the end of 2005, amounting to just over half the total number of internet subscribers and around one-fifth of total fixed lines.

As the world becomes increasingly digital, new challenges and important dilemmas arise for businesses and policy-makers. Private individuals, too, are faced with a bewildering number of choices for their information and communications needs.

If you are eager to discover more about these challenges as well as about the importance of being digital and digital ubiquity, you can download chapter one: going digital.

The full text of the report is available online at the digital.life website.  For more information about the report, contact lara.srivastava(a)itu.int.

Monday, December 04, 2006 2:52:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 30, 2006

OFCOM has just released its first research publication, The International Communications Market 2006. Report focuses specifically on the international communications market, reflecting the increasing impact of global issues on the UK commercial and regulatory communications agenda. 

To read executive summary, please click here.

To download the document, please click here.

Thursday, November 30, 2006 4:29:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Digital Opportunity Index (DOI) is a composite index that has been developed by the ITU/Digital Opportunity Platform to measure countries' progress in ICTs and digital opportunity, as part of the endorsed methodology for WSIS evaluation and follow-up. It is a flexible methodology that has been used in many different ways. Every day this week, SPU will demonstrate a different application of the DOI, to show its flexible and versatile applications for policy analysis.

The urban/rural digital divide is one of the most obvious divisions in many countries (depending on their geography, degree of urbanisation and industrial development, among other factors). ITU has traditionally sought to monitor the urban/rural divide in telecoms using the indicators of % of main lines in urban areas and mainlines in the largest city. For example, in China, as recently as 2004, just over two-thirds of all mainlines were to be found in urban areas (World Telecommunication Indicators).

However, the urban/rural divide extends far beyond connectivity. Differences in digital opportunity between urban and rural areas are also evident in the price of access to ICTs (often more expensive in rural areas), speed and quality of access (what the Nigerian blogger Oro calls "plug and pray") and technology in e.g., coverage of population with a mobile signal. The Digital Opportunity Index measures all these different aspects to access to ICTs.

For most countries, detailed data on urban/rural differences for all these aspects are difficult to come by. However, at the recent Digital Opportunity Forum held in Korea, the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology presented its expert analysis of the urban/rural divide in Egypt (see figure below). Taking into account differences in price, coverage, Internet availability and usage, the Ministry calculated that the rural population in Egypt has one quarter less opportunity to access and use ICTs as in urban areas. This points to a measurable and significant urban/rural divide in connectivity in a country where the vast majority of the population (95%) live in the fertile Nile valley. The DOI provides a means not only of quantifying the extent of this urban/rural divide, but also of monitoring its future evolution.

The urban/rural divide in Egypt


Source: Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, presented to the Digital Opportunity Forum, 1 September 2006.

For more information about the Digital Opportunity Index, click here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006 3:07:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 16, 2006

The ITU’s Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU) is delighted to announce over 70,000 downloads of its major new report, the World Information Society Report (WISR) since July.

The World Information Society Report charts progress in building the Information Society and track the dynamics driving digital opportunity worldwide using a new tool—the Digital Opportunity Index (DOI). The Digital Opportunity Index can strengthen policy-making by monitoring the critical areas of the digital divide, universal access, gender and the promotion of broadband and universal service policies. The DOI has been cited by the US Federal Communications Commission to measure the state of broadband in the United States, monitored in Ireland to track the price of broadband and used by the Egyptian Government to measure the urban-rural divide in Egypt.

Every day this week, SPU will profile a different practical application of the Digital Opportunity Index, to demonstrate its genuine use for policy purposes and to show how it can monitor WSIS follow-up. The Digital Opportunity Index is relevant for policy-makers, regulators, academics, public and other stakeholders with an interest in telecommunications and development.

To find out more, please click here.

Monday, October 16, 2006 5:37:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 06, 2006

‘Teledensity‘, or the number of phones per 100 inhabitants, is one of the more useful measures of an economy’s ICT infrastructure. In the early 1990s, ITU carried out research on the progress of Asia-Pacific economies in achieving the ‘teledensity transition‘ in their fixed-line networks (see left chart). The ‘teledensity transition‘ may be defined as passing from a teledensity of 10 lines per 100 inhabitants to 30 per 100. Below a teledensity of 10, access to telecommunications is restricted to a small part of the population and few businesses and therefore the impact of telecommunications on the economy and society is limited. With a teledensity above 30 per 100, access to telecommunications is available to a majority of households and virtually all businesses. Thus, the use of telecommunications can be expected to have a comparatively greater impact on the economy and society.

For the developed economies in the Asia-Pacific region, it took between 8 and 35 years (average 16 years) to make the transition between 1935 and 1995, with a progressive acceleration over time. However, for a sample of developing economies in the same region, it took only between 2 and 6 years (average 3 years) to make the transition between 1995 and 2006 (see right chart).

The main difference between the two charts is that the developed countries made the transition using fixed-line networks, whereas the developing economies have invariably made the transition using mobile networks. Mobile networks can generally be rolled out much more quickly, and more cheaply, and are more convenient for users (e.g., through pre-paid cards). Furthermore, mobile networks are relatively ‘development-neutral‘, in the sense that developed economies made the mobile teledensity transition only marginally more quickly (2.6 years) than developing ones (3.1 years).

For more insights from telecom transition and digital opportunity in the information society, please consult the World Information Society Report 2006.

Friday, October 06, 2006 5:16:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Digital Opportunity Index (DOI), which is one of the two indices officially endorsed by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) (Geneva 2003-Tunis 2005), can be used as a practical tool to track the changing dynamics driving the Information Society worldwide.

Europe is the most advanced region with a DOI score of 0.55, considerably higher than the world average (0.37), followed by the Americas (0.4). DOI scores show that basic telecom access and affordability are the main areas of achievement for most countries.

European countries, which are mostly developed economies, provide good digital opportunity for most of their inhabitants, with extensive infrastructure, generally low prices and widespread use of new technologies. Poorer European countries generally have medium DOI scores (e.g. Albania, Belarus, Turkey and Ukraine). Poland and Russia are among the top 15 gainers in the DOI worldwide over the period 2000-2005, making significant progress in ICT infrastructure.

The economies from the region are also leveraging their investments in infrastructure well in order to widely introduce new technologies and yield more advanced forms of usage. One interesting aspect of mobile Internet usage is the wide variation in access among countries of similar economic or geographic circumstances. Almost a third of Slovenian households and one fifth of Finnish households use mobile phones to access the Internet, while in other countries, less than five per pent of households use mobile phones to access the Internet.

Despite the favourable global picture, disparities in connectivity within the region persist and many are concerned about the European digital divide, which is likely to result from the sometimes modest convergence between the economies.

For more analysis on this and other related to digital opportunity issues, please consult the World Information Society Report 2006.

Thursday, October 05, 2006 5:39:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Digital Opportunity Index (DOI), which is one of the two indices officially endorsed by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) (Geneva 2003-Tunis 2005), can be used as a practical tool to track the changing dynamics driving the Information Society worldwide.

The map illustrates the strong lead taken by Asia, together with Europe and North America, in realizing digital opportunity. Two Asian countries top the world rankings – the Republic of Korea and Japan, and the average DOI scores for the region are higher than the world average of 0.37. Central Asian countries are catching up fast with large infrastructural investments and strong gains in mobile and internet subscribers, including 3G mobile technologies (CDMA 2000 1x and W-CDMA). It is worth noting that five out of the top 15 gainers in the DOI come from the Asian region: these are India, China, Indonesia, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

The Asian Tigers, together with Scandinavian countries lead in internet subscriptions, with around a third of their population subscribing to the internet, but only half of these subscribed to broadband services. This is in contrast to the Republic of Korea, where virtually all internet users are broadband subscribers, with access to faster, advanced services such as video, teleconferencing, multiplayer gaming and triple play. These different profiles of internet usage could result in the development of more varied skill sets and contrasting rates of innovation and, over the longer term, may shape the Information Society differently, according to the type, speed and capacity of internet access available. However, there are often large differences in the level of development within the region - the Asia-Pacific region contains both high-income and Least Developed Countries. In many economies fixed line telephony has been challenged by the worldwide growth in mobile phones.

However, there remains a strong need for basic connectivity in Asia, where connectivity is the main factor driving the digital divide and limiting access to ICTs.

For more analysis on this and other related to digital opportunity issues, please consult the World Information Society Report 2006.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006 5:31:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Digital Opportunity Index (DOI), which is one of the two indices officially endorsed by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) (Geneva 2003-Tunis 2005), can be used as a practical tool to track the changing dynamics driving the Information Society worldwide.

The Americas are the second most advanced region in terms of ICT development, following Europe. DOI scores show that basic telecom access and affordability are the main areas of achievement for most countries. In low income Latin American countries, digital opportunity mostly derives from access to cellular service and affordable telecoms. Meanwhile, high-income North-American countries are successfully realizing digital opportunity through high-performance infrastructure (e.g., broadband) and the use of advanced technologies.

In North America, the economies provide good digital opportunity for most of their inhabitants, with extensive infrastructure, generally low prices and widespread use of new technologies. From the Latin American countries, Chile is the highest-ranking Latin American country at 40th place in the DOI for 2005, followed by Argentina at 51st place.

Four of the Top 15 gainers in the DOI over the period 2001-2005 are from Latin America – Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Peru – the latter two are also among the very rare cases where Utilization exceeds Infrastructure. The strong gains in Utilization in Chile and Venezuela resulted from early policies for privatization and a vibrant private sector has successfully promoted telecommunications and the higher-margin broadband segment in these countries.

Caribbean states also generally do well in the DOI. This may be due to an ‘island effect’, where small islands may specialize in ICT intensive offshore industries reliant on telecommunications. Barbados, Jamaica and Antigua and Barbuda all have high DOI scores.

The DOI registers a steady expansion in the number of mobile Internet subscribers, reflected in the steady increase in Utilization over time. Most notably, the DOI shows that mobile Internet and 3G services are no longer the preserve of high-income countries and are now offered in many developing countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as in central and eastern Asia. The 2005 Mobinet study on global mobile usage reports an upward trend in the percentage of multimedia phone users in Latin America browsing the internet or using mobile e-mail at least once a month on their phones, which jumped from 32 per cent in 2004 to 64 per cent in 2005.

For more analysis on this and other related to digital opportunity issues, please consult the World Information Society Report 2006.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006 4:56:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 02, 2006

The Digital Opportunity Index (DOI), which is one of the two indices officially endorsed by the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) (Geneva 2003-Tunis 2005), can be used as a practical tool to track the changing dynamics driving the Information Society worldwide.

The DOI scores for 2005 are sharply differentiated according to region. Africa, the region with some of the poorest countries in the world, is greatly impacted by the digital divide. Europe, the Americas and Asia all have average DOI scores higher than the world average of 0.37, while Africa has an average DOI score of 0.20, mainly due to limited Utilization and fixed line infrastructure. When compared to other regions, Africa ranks last with an average regional DOI score of barely one-third that of Europe (0.55). The African strong-performers are Mauritius, the Seychelles and North African countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Egypt).

The DOI map of Africa here below shows a pattern of high scores among the North African economies (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia) - Egypt is also the only African country in the Top 15 gainers in the DOI, having realized a gain of 32 per cent in digital opportunity over the period 2000-2005. By contrast, low-ranking economies are mostly inland, in the Sub-Saharan region, and also include economies such as Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Niger and Sierra Leone.

Nevertheless, despite the overall situation, many African countries are making progress in reducing their internal gaps. As a region, Africa has the highest growth rate in mobile cellular subscribers of any region, with a 66 per cent growth rate in 2005, with Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa accounting for 60 per cent of the new mobile subscribers added in the region. In 2005, Nigeria alone added 9.7 million subscribers, which represents about 7 per cent of its total population. Mobile phones provide more than three-quarters of all the phone connections in 19 countries in Africa. As Africa shows, the tendency of developing countries to promote mobile coverage and utilization over fixed services makes the DOI’s mobile components particularly useful for monitoring advances in regional markets.

From a telecommunication policy perspective, high-ranking countries illustrate the influence of liberalization and competition in promoting opportunity and infrastructure deployment. Most of the North African countries, as well as Senegal and South Africa, have opened their fixed and mobile markets to competition and are rapidly increasing high-speed network deployment. Competition is helping to reduce tariffs and introduce service packages that respond better to the needs of the population. In Algeria, for instance, the entry of a third wireless cellular provider triggered new strategies for prepaid services that had not previously been offered by the incumbents.

For more analysis on these and other issues related to measuring digital opportunity, please consult the World Information Society Report 2006.

Monday, October 02, 2006 5:55:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 22, 2006

As part of the ITU's work in follow-up to the WSIS, the World Information Society Report 2006 is addressed to all stakeholders and intended to provide insights as well as useful benchmarks for building the Information Society. The Report gives practical examples of how the DOI can be used, and highlights projects around the world that are working to meet the commitments made at the WSIS.

Chapter five, Beyond WSIS: Making a difference globally, focuses on WSIS implementation and follow-up in different countries. The WSIS called for governments to move from principles into action. There are many efforts underway, both large and small, to implement the WSIS goals, involving a range of stakeholders at the community level, regionally, nationally and internationally. This chapter of the report highlights some of these initiatives to implement the WSIS Plan of Action, from national strategies to grassroots projects. A variety of initiatives have been launched to promote digital opportunity, infrastructure and advanced ICT applications and these highlight fresh approaches and innovative new solutions to ICT development.

One of the biggest challenges for the uptake of ICTs and for building a people-centered and development-oriented Information Society is the affordability of the services. The Digital Opportunity Index monitors the mobile communications that promise to bridge the digital divide in many parts of the world, as well as more recent technologies such as broadband and mobile Internet access. The price of broadband continues to fall worldwide, by as much as twenty per cent a year over the last two years according to ITU’s analysis, while broadband speeds continue to increase. The lower cost of ICTs greately facilitates their diffusion and utilization, and contributes to increased digital opportunity.

Internet affordability (cost of 20h internet connection as a % of monthly GDP per capita)

Note: 1 means affordable; 0 means that the price of lower-user basket is in excess of average GNI per capita.

These positive trends are not restricted to developed countries, and many valuable multi-stakeholder initiatives are underway to further promote ICT development worldwide in the wake of WSIS. 

The DOI has been developed by a multi-stakeholder partnership, the Digital Opportunity Platform, comprising ITU, UNCTAD and KADO (the Korea Agency for Digital Opportunity and Promotion) and which is open to new partners. It will be reported annually in order to track progress in reaching the WSIS targets, and building a diverse and inclusive Information Society, by 2015.

Friday, September 22, 2006 5:11:00 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 21, 2006

"Chapter Four: From Measurement to Policy-Making" considers the changing telecommunications policy landscape, in areas of universal access/service, affordability, digital inclusion, broadband and wireless, amongst others. It shows how policy-makers can use the Digital Opportunity Index (DOI) to inform policy-making and policy design to achieve the WSIS goals. The DOI is not an abstract mathematical construction, but has real ‘hands-on’ applications for policy-makers, particularly in the context of the commitments made by governments at the World Summit on the Information Society.

Chapter Four uses the DOI for analysing digital gaps between regions at the national and international levels, for assessing gender gaps and for monitoring digital inclusion. The DOI is a useful policy tool that can be adapted to assess all of these data requirements. Chapter four of the World Information Society Report uses the DOI to analyse digital opportunity throughout the continent of Africa; perform a benchmark comparison of India’s performance relative to its neighbouring countries (see Figure below); examine regional disparities in digital opportunity in Brazil; and examine the gender gap in the Czech Republic. The chapter also outlines the next steps in ICT measurement for policy-making that the Digital Opportunity Platform plans to undertake.

Using the DOI for Policy Purposes

To find out more about the World Information Society Report, please click here.

Thursday, September 21, 2006 2:22:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 20, 2006

"Chapter Three: Information Society Trends" tracks the shifting dynamics of the Information Society worldwide. It monitors the changes in digital opportunity across different countries and regions, and investigates those that have made the strongest gains in digital opportunity.

The Asian economies of the Republic of Korea and Japan continue to lead in digital opportunity, mainly due to their pioneering take-up of broadband and 3G mobile services. Nearly all Internet subscribers in the Republic of Korea are broadband subscribers, whilst Japan is the only market where Internet subscribers are most likely to access Internet over their mobile. Dramatic progress has been achieved by developing countries, however, which made the greatest progress in digital opportunity - notably India, where digital opportunity nearly doubled between 2001 and 2005, and China, which experienced remarkably strong gains in infrastructure. Some countries are leveraging their investments in infrastructure more successfully than others, however.

Major Gainers in digital opportunity (2001-2005)

Note: Component indices of the DOI are represented by O = Opportunity; I = Infrastructure; U = Utilization.

Chapter three analyses trends in digital opportunity, broadband speed and price, as well as the price of other telecommunication services. Find out more about the WISR here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006 3:11:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"Chapter Two: Measuring the Information Society" introduces the structure and methodology of the Digital Opportunity Index (DOI). It explains why the component indicators were chosen and how they measure different aspects of digital opportunity, in: opportunity to access telecommunications (including basic access to telecommunications and affordability, with detailed price information); the basic infrastructure available in a country; and actual utilization of ICTs, in the use of the Internet and broadband technologies (fixed and mobile).

This chapter reviews trends in the individual indicators making up the DOI, including: the growth of mobile coverage (both 2G and 3G); a comparison of Internet and mobile prices; household penetration of ICTs and broadband and mobile Internet. It illustrates these trends with a wealth of country information and regional comparisons, to show how the DOI captures the growth in digital opportunity around the world.

The DOI is a flexible and forward-looking index, which includes measurement of the promising technologies of tomorrow in broadband and mobile Internet subscribers (as a proportion of total Internet subscribers and total mobile subscribers). It is the major index to date that includes up-to-date and current price information for both mobile and Internet access. Find out more and download the DOI as part of the World Information Society Report here.

Structure of the DOI:

The DOI is currently being updated for 2006 information, as part of the ongoing work programme of the Digital Opportunity Platform.

 

Tuesday, September 19, 2006 1:04:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, September 18, 2006

"Chapter One: A Summit for Building the Information Society" outlines the background to the World Information Society Report (WISR). It sets out the background to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in the origins, aims and achievements of the Summit. In particular, it considers the call by member governments for an effective means and methodology for follow-up to monitor progress in building the Information Society through implementation of the Summit's recommendations.

The Geneva Plan of Action calls for a composite ICT Development (Digital Opportunity) Index to be published annually, or every two years, in a report on ICT development to clarify the magnitude of the digital divide in both its domestic and international dimensions.

Chapter One of the WISR reviews WSIS implementation since the Summit concluded in Tunis in November 2005, and explains why composite indices give a more complete picture of the development of the Information Society in any given economy than a single indicator. It gives an overview of the main composite Indices for measuring Digital Opportunity, and how they differ. It concludes by explaining the main virtues of the Digital Opportunity Index, especially for developing countries: it evaluates digital opportunity in 180 countries, the most of any index published to date; it is based on standard indicators (as defined by the Partnership for Measuring ICT for Development); it uses objective data rather than survey data; it can be split into its fixed and mobile components, so developing countries can be measured on the basis of their strengths; it uses household penetration data (which favour developing countries, on the basis of their large average household size); and it is simple and easy-to-use.

"Chapter One: A Summit for Building the Information Society" of the World Information Society Report can be downloaded for free here.

Monday, September 18, 2006 11:38:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 15, 2006

The ITU’s Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU) is delighted to announce over 17,000 downloads of its major new report, the World Information Society Report (WISR), over the two months since its publication.

As part of the ITU’s follow-up to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the Report charts progress in building the Information Society and track the dynamics driving digital opportunity worldwide using a new tool—the Digital Opportunity Index (DOI). The DOI is part of the agreed evaluation methodology endorsed during the WSIS and will be published annually in the World Information Society Report to track progress in reaching the WSIS targets and building a diverse and inclusive Information Society by 2015.

The WISR shows how the Digital Opportunity Index can be used to strengthen policy-making by monitoring the critical areas of the digital divide, universal access, gender and the promotion of broadband and universal service policies. The Report is addressed to policy-makers, regulators, academics, public and other stakeholders with an interest in telecommunications and development.

Starting next week, SPU will profile a different chapter of the World Information Society Report each day, to show how the Information Society is evolving and how you can contribute to WSIS follow-up. 

For more information, please see the WISR website

Friday, September 15, 2006 1:13:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Messaging Anti-Abuse Working Group (MAAWG), in the context of its work together with the OECD Anti-Spam Task Force has developed an E-mail Metrics Program and agreed on a series of ISPs spam indicators. In June 2006 MAAWG released the second spam metrics report. The report, providing data for the first quarter 2006, is key to evaluating the evolution of spam and the effectiveness of anti-spam solutions and educational efforts.

Download the full MAAWG report here.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006 4:00:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 03, 2006
 Thursday, July 27, 2006

Colombian Comission for Telecommunication Regulation has just released new report on "Developments in the Telecommunication Sector".

This report has been prepared as a contribution to the New Initiatives Programme project on the Future of Voice. Further information on the project can be found here. The analysis is available here or on the website with background materials of the project the Future of Voice.

Thursday, July 27, 2006 1:00:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 07, 2006

A presentation entitled Networks in Transition: Emerging Policy and Regulatory Challenges of Next Generation Networks (PDF) was made by Robert Shaw, Deputy Head, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, at the Masters of Communication Management (MCM) Annual Conference, Goodenough College on 6 July 2006 in London, England.

Friday, July 07, 2006 12:05:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, June 18, 2006

Cullen-International has just released it's 2nd Country Comparative Report:

Supply of Services in Monitoring of South East Europe: Telecommunications Services Sector and Related Aspects.

The report provides comprehensice overview of telecommunication sector in the region, including regulatory profiles. In order to download the 1st and the 2nd report, please click here.

Sunday, June 18, 2006 5:38:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Will Content Be King?, presentation by Robert Shaw, Deputy Head, ITU Strategy and Policy Unit, at the 7 June 2006 conference Digital Content: a Modern Fairy Tale or the Old King in the New Clothes in Vilnius, Lithuania. The event was organized by the law offices of Norcous & Partners, in association with the Communications Regulatory Authority of the Republic of Lithuania and Vilnius University Faculty of Law.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006 1:21:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The graph below shows the 15 countries with the largest number of mobile subscribers. China is by far the overall leader with 393.4 million subscribers, almost twice as many as the United States in second place with 201.7 million.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 5:04:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

A new research report called Comparison of OECD Broadband Markets - A comparison of cost and performance data for business and residential broadband products in 26 OECD countries was released. The report commissioned by InternetNZ and prepared by Wairua Consulting analyses 2'586 broadband packages from 26 OECD countries, on a range of indicators including download and upload speeds, costs, data caps, variety of offerings, contention ratios and finally an overall ranking table.

Accorting to the report, Sweden offers the best overall ‘value’ for broadband services in terms of cost and performance, followed by the Netherlands, Norway, Canada and Germany. A comparison of the price/performance rating from this study with that country’s OECD broadband subscriber ranking and the latest e-readiness assessment from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) suggests that the cost and performance of broadband products is not directly related to uptake in the country, nor is it directly related to that country’s e-readiness, which is defined as the ‘state of play’ of a country’s ICT infrastructure and the ability of its consumers, businesses and governments to use ICT to their benefit. For example, Slovakia appears to offer good value for money and above average performance, though uptake of broadband remains low and e-readiness is low. Conversely, Iceland and Switzerland have high uptake but are comparatively expensive.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 11:18:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 23, 2006

On 1-2 June 2006 the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU) in collaboration with London Business School (LBS) will hold a joint conference on the measurement of ICTs and the macro-, micro- and meso-impact of ICTs in the Information Society.

The conference will explore the impact of ICTs in industry, firms, growth and productivity. What is the real meaning of the digital divide? Can investment in ICTs help to reduce the productivity gap? Are countries really at a disadvantage through falling behind in take-up of ICTs?

For more details on this event please click here.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006 6:02:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 22, 2006

ITU has just released its new statistics on global broadband penetration per 100 inhabitants as of 1 January 2006. Iceland has taken over as this year's leader from Korea with Netherlands, Denmark and Hong Kong, China rounding out the top five.

Monday, May 22, 2006 1:12:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 19, 2006

On 17 May, World Information Society Day, ITU together with other partners (including UNCTAD and the KADO) launched a new series of reports entitled World Information Society Report. The summary of the report is available on the website at www.itu.int/wisr. The report itself will be published in June 2006.

The partners involved have created the Digital Opportunity Index (DOI) to measure digital opportunity for 180 economies. It is a composite index created from a set of eleven internationally agreed core ICT indicators (established by the Partnership on Measurement of the Information Society). The DOI has a flexible and versatile structure, based on three categories: opportunity, infrastructure and utilization.  This classification is intended to help policy-makers in determining where countries are strong and weak in order to focus attention on priority areas. The top ten economies for Digital Opportunity are shown below on the left with Korea and Japan leading the rankings. The top major gainers in the DOI during the period 2001-2005 is shown on the right with India and China leading with the most gains. The rankings of all measured economies is shown on page 17 of the World Information Society Report summary.

  

Friday, May 19, 2006 2:59:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 18, 2006

In a press release today, ITU announced a global opinion survey to assess trust of online transactions and awareness of cybersecurity measures. The survey was conducted by ITU in conjunction with World Telecommunication Day, celebrated on 17 May to commemorate the founding of ITU in 1865. The theme chosen this year — Promoting Global Cybersecurity — aims to highlight the serious challenges of ensuring the safety and security of networked information and communication systems.

The announcement of the results of the survey coincides with the launch of an ITU Cybersecurity Gateway portal. The portal is a global online reference source of national cybersecurity initiatives and websites around the world and provides an integrated platform for sharing cybersecurity related information and resources. Presenting information tailored to four specific audiences: citizens, businesses, governments, and international organizations, the portal also provides information resources on topical cybersecurity concerns such as spam, spyware, phishing, scams and frauds, worms and viruses, denial of service attacks, etc.

With thousands of links to relevant materials, ITU intends to constantly update the portal with information on cybersecurity initiatives and resources gathered from contributors around the globe. For example, a number of countries are now ramping up national critical information infrastructure protection (CIIP) programmes and sharing information on these initiatives through the portal can assist both developed and developing economies in promoting global cybersecurity.

These efforts highlight work being carried out as follow-up to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Action line C5 dealing with "Building confidence and security in the use of ICT", for which ITU is the facilitator/moderator.

Update: UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has made the following statement in conjunction with World Telecommunication Day giving his perspectives on promoting global cybersecurity.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 9:52:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

17 May 2006 On 17 May, World Information Society Day, ITU together with other partners (including UNCTAD and the KADO) launched a new series of reports entitled World Information Society Reports. It is intended to be an annual report, tracking progress in implementing the outcomes from the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). The reports will include a new benchmarking tool, the Digital Opportunity Index, which is a composite index for measurement of the information society, endorsed by the Tunis Phase of the WSIS. The summary of the report is available on the website at www.itu.int/wisr. The report itself will be published in June 2006.

Thursday, May 18, 2006 11:46:46 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 01, 2006

Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) has published on March 10 the results of an estimate of the amount of internet traffic in Japan. According to the study, based on the total volume of traffic calculated from broadband subscribers in Japan, average traffic reached 468 Gigabit per second (Gbps) as of November 2005.

For comparison, Telegeography estimates that as of mid-2005, the combined average traffic on all cross-border internet backbone routes stood at just under 1 Terabit per second (Tbps).

This means that MIC is estimating that Japan's domestic average traffic represents almost half of all average international internet traffic.

Monday, May 01, 2006 10:50:55 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 24, 2006

The OECD has released its end-2005 broadband statistics for 30 OECD member countries. According to the OECD, main highlights from the second half of 2005 are:

  • In December 2005, four countries (Iceland, Korea, the Netherlands and Denmark) led the OECD in broadband penetration, each with more than 25 subscribers per 100 inhabitants.
  • Iceland now leads the OECD with a broadband penetration rate of 26.7 subscribers per 100 inhabitants.
  • Korea’s broadband market is advancing to the next stage of development where existing subscribers switch platforms for increased bandwidth. In Korea, fibre-based broadband connections grew 52.4% during 2005. This switchover effect is evident by the net loss of DSL (-3.3%) and cable (-1.7%) subscribers during the year.
  • The strongest per-capita subscriber growth came from Iceland, Finland, Norway, the Netherlands and Australia. Each country added more than 6 subscribers per 100 inhabitants during 2005.
  • Japan leads the OECD in fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) with 4.6 million fibre subscribers at the end of 2005. Fibre subscribers alone in Japan outnumber total broadband subscribers in 21 of the 30 OECD countries.
  • DSL is still the leading platform in 28 OECD countries. Cable subscribers outnumber DSL in Canada and the United States.
  • The United States has the largest total number of broadband subscribers in the OECD at 49 million. US broadband subscribers represent 31% of all broadband connections in the OECD.
  • Canada leads the G7 group of industrialized countries in broadband penetration
  • The breakdown of broadband technologies in December 2005 is as follows:
         o DSL: 62%
         o Cable modem: 31%
         o Other technologies (e.g. satellite, fibre and fixed wireless) : 7%
Monday, April 24, 2006 10:31:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The March 2006 edition of ITU News focusing on “ICT for Development: Making it Work for All”, brings attention to ICT penetration in Qatar, the host country for the 2006 ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC).

A peninsula on the western coast of the Arabian Gulf, Qatar is home to about 813 000 people. Despite its small size, it is a high-income economy with a well-developed communications infrastructure.

The ITU News article explains that "The expansion of information and communication technologies (ICT) in Qatar has taken the country to a leading place in this field among its neighbors in the region. It comes fourth in ICT penetration rates among the Arab States, behind Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait. The incumbent telecommunication operator, Qatar Telecom (Q-Tel), was partially privatized in 1998, and the Supreme Council for Communication and Information Technology (also known as ictQATAR) was created in 2004 with the mandate of regulator and enabler of the country’s ICT sector."

Qatar has seen particularly strong growth in the number of mobile phone subscribers, which overtook the number of fixed telephone lines in 2001.


Source: ITU World Telecommunication Indicators Database.

Read the full article featured in the March edition of ITU News.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 2:22:27 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

At a workshop on ICT Indicators for performance benchmarking, held in Delhi 1-3 March, under the auspices of LIRNEasia and TRAI, representatives from the region's national statistical offices and regulatory agencies committed themselves to developing a set of ICT Indicators for the region based around "core set of ICT Indicators" defined by the Partnership for Measuring ICT for Development. This methodology means that they will be able to apply the composite "Digital Oppoportunity Index", which has been developed by a multi-stakeholder partnership, including ITU, KADO and UNCTAD, for the measurement of the digital divide within the region and within individual countries.

The proceedings of the conference, which included presentations from TRAI, LIRNEasia, ITU, OECD and NRRI, are avaialble on the LIRNEasia website.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006 8:49:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 28, 2006

This publication, with a foreword by Nitin Desai, provides an overview of the key debates on Internet governance. It presents the work of the Open Regional Dialogue on Internet Governance, an Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme (APDIP) initiative that has collected perspectives from regional experts and end users.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006 11:21:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 24, 2006

  The Golden Book — a record of work undertaken to implement the goas of the World Summit on the Information Society and build the future Information Society — was launched on 24 February 2006 during the Consultation Meeting of WSIS Action Lines Facilitators/Moderators, convened by ITU, UNESCO and UNDP in Geneva.

This Golden Book highlights some of the valuable work being done around the world to promote ICTs in projects, large and small, by governments, individuals or team effort, for the benefit of all. It provides illustrative examples of new and innovative projects to build infrastructure, promote ICTs in education, health and governance, ensure fair access and enhance online security.

The Golden Book has been published by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) as a permanent record of the new commitments and resources pledged by stakeholders during the Tunis Phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). All WSIS stakeholders at the Summit were invited to submit an online questionnaire with details of their activities announced during the Tunis Phase. These activities have been planned or are already being undertaken to implement the WSIS Plan of Action. The Golden Book also serves as a tool helping to coordinate the action taken to implement the 11 Action lines and avoid duplication.

More than 375 submissions were made to the Golden Book by governments, international organizations, NGOs, companies and individuals, describing their work towards promoting ICT activities. ITU estimates that the activities announced during the Tunis Phase to promote WSIS goals represented a total value of at least € 3.2 billion (US$ 3.9 billion). Governments committed to implement projects for some € 1.9 billion, representing nearly two-thirds of estimated total value of all commitments, while international organizations pledged to carry out activities for around half that amount, i.e. 0.83 billion Euros. Business entities announced plans to realize projects for around 0.35 billion Euros and civil society projects amount to least 0.13 billion Euros.

Amount of financial commitments by stakeholder

Breakdown by anticipated expenditure

For more information on the Golden Book, please see here.

Friday, February 24, 2006 6:22:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 16, 2006

OECD Scoping Study for the Measurement of Trust in the Online Environment:

Creating an online environment which builds on trust among users of ICT networks is an increasing priority for business, industry and governments and has been on the OECD agenda since the late 1990s. The aim of this report is to undertake a review of the data available from official, semi-official and private sources which can assist in informing developments and progress in this area. There is a need to be able to use relevant data to assess the effectiveness of public and private initiatives aimed at building trust among users.
Thursday, February 16, 2006 12:08:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 06, 2006

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has published updated indicators on mobile penetration and growth in India. TRAI reports that:

"India has become one of the fastest growing mobile markets in the world. The mobile services were commercially launched in August 1995 in India. In the initial 5-6 years the average monthly subscribers additions were around 0.05 to 0.1 million only and the total mobile subscribers base in December 2002 stood at 10.5 millions. However, after the number of proactive initiatives taken by regulator and licensor, the monthly mobile subscriber additions increased to around 2 million per month in the year 2003-04 and 2004-05. For the year 2005-06, the first 9 months have seen an addition of 26 million mobile subscribers, which translates into average addition of 3 million subscribers monthly. The additions in the month of December 2005 alone have touched around 4.5 million."

With currently about 76 million subscribers, TRAI says that monthly mobile growth rates have reached those of its neighbour, China.

Monday, February 06, 2006 1:01:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Pan Asia Networking (PAN) at the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is pleased to share two interactive maps with you. The first of these maps provides information about the ICT market structure, regulatory functions, and the national regulatory agency for countries in Asia. You can access the map here.

The second map provides a list of indicators (including population, GDP per capita, main telephone lines, mobile cellular subscribers, radios, televisions, and internet users) in Asia since 2001. In addition, this map allows one to compare an indicator across up to three countries. An animated instruction guide for this map is attached. You can access the map here.

Monday, February 06, 2006 8:25:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 03, 2006

Link Center has released new report on Towards an African e-Index: Household and Individual ICT Access and Usage across 10 African Countries.

Based on the 2004 e-Access & Usage Household survey that was completed during the course of 2004 and 2005 by members of the researchICTafrica! network under the direction of Prof Gillwald, this report is the result of a demand study of individuals and households and how ICT's are used across 10 African countries. 

For more information on the report, please click here. For the full report in pdf format (6,7mb), please click here.

Friday, February 03, 2006 6:56:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

IDATE has just released material with 2005 statistics on FTTx in Europe.

At mid 2005 IDATE identified 166 FTTx projects in Europe of which 13 are new initiatives since mir 2004.

By the end of June 2005, there were approximately 646 570 FTTx subscribers in EU 181 and
roughly 2.51 millions Homes/Building passed showing a penetration rate of 25.8%. Compared to
mid June 2004 this represents a growth of 18% for subscribers and 28% for Homes/Building
passed. There are still no major deployments in the 10 new members and we should also notice that nearly 97% of these FTTx Subscribers are concentrated in 5 countries (Sweden, Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway).

To read brief material with statistics, please, click here.

Friday, February 03, 2006 4:52:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, January 23, 2006

This UN study on the construction of knowledge societies puts forward "the idea that if societies desire to follow the path of knowledge-based growth and development, a very thorough reconstruction of their institutions must occur. It suggests to political leaders, public administrations and the public at large that a broad, well-informed debate about this institutional shift should be undertaken. The magnitude of such a shift would require the cooperation of all segments of society and their sharing not only of the risk and cost of change, but first and foremost, of common goals and values. It is hoped that this study will inform this debate or at least sketch its parameters."

In an experimental Index of Knowledge Societies, it rates the following countries the highest:

Country Name IKS Index

1  Sweden 0.776
2  Denmark 0.763
3  Norway 0.719
4  Switzerland 0.706
5  Finland 0.704
6  Japan 0.696
7  Germany 0.696
8  Austria 0.692
9  New Zealand 0.692
10 United Kingdom 0.688

Monday, January 23, 2006 1:01:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The internet as we know it is set to transform radically, according to a new ITU Internet Report entitled The Internet of Things, specially prepared to coincide with the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Tunis in November 2005. From an academic network for the chosen few created in the late 1960s, the internet is now a mass-market, consumer-oriented network being accessed by over 900 million people worldwide, through personal computers, mobile phones and other wireless devices. But this is only the beginning. According to ITU’s report, we are standing on the brink of a new ubiquitous computing and communication era, one that will radically transform the Internet, and with it, our corporate, community, and personal spheres. The new ITU report looks at key enabling technologies for ubiquity (e.g. RFID, sensors and sensor networks, telematics, robotics, nanotechnology) and how they might impact the future human and technological landscape.

At WSIS, the report was launched at a Press Conference and Panel Debate moderated by Kenn Cukier of The Economist. The lively debate included the following speakers and panelists: Nicholas Negroponte - MIT Media Lab, Olivier Baujard - CTO of Alcatel, Hitomi Murakami - VP General Manager of KDDI (Japan), Jonathan Murray - VP and CTO, Microsoft EMEA, Walid Moneimne, Senior VP and Head of EMEA Networks - Nokia, John Gage, Chief Researcher and Director of the Science Office - Sun Microsystems, and from the ITU, Lara Srivastava, lead author of the report.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005 4:59:21 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 24, 2005

The European Commission's Information Society and Media Directorate General has commissioned a series of four monitoring reports at nine-monthly intervals on the market for electronic communications networks and services in 8 EU candidate and potential candidate countries. The first Country Comparative Report is now available.

For the Report, please click here.

Thursday, November 24, 2005 11:41:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The WSIS Stocktaking Report has been officially launched during the World Summit on the Infrmation Society in Tunis. The report has been prepared on the basis of activities entered to the WSIS Stocktaking Database that by November 2005 contained more then 2500 entries. 

For the launch presentation see Stocktaking.pdf (1.47 MB).

For the WSIS Stocktaking Database see here

Wednesday, November 16, 2005 10:50:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 11, 2005

From the soon to be released ITU Internet Report 2005: The Internet of Things comes this fresh survey data showing the breakdown of 3G mobile technologies according to markets. ITU research shows CDMA 2000 1x technology currently has 115 million subscribers while W-CDMA technology has 18.8 million subscribers at the end of 2004. 

 

Friday, November 11, 2005 4:35:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

From the soon to be released ITU Internet Report 2005: The Internet of Things comes this fresh survey data showing the top 10 3G mobile markets worldwide, by millions of subscribers and type of technology (CDMA 2000 1x and W-CDMA) at the end of 2004. The USA leads in total number of 3G subscribers with 49.5 million (16.7% of the population) but the Republic of Korea has the highest national percentage with 57.4 of the population using 3G services (27.5 million subscribers).

Friday, November 11, 2005 3:55:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

An article on BBC News discusses the new UNCTAD Information Economy Report 2005 and says the costs of fast net access and linking up to the internet's global infrastructure hits poorer nations much harder than developed countries. Chapters in the report include:

  1. ICT indicators for development; Trends and measurement issues
  2. International Internet backbone connectivity: Issues for developing countries
  3. E-credit information, trade finance and e-finance: Overcoming information asymmetries
  4. Taking off: E-tourism opportunities for developing countries
  5. Information technology and security: Risk management and policy implications
  6. Protecting the information society: Addressing the phenomenon of cybercrime
Friday, November 11, 2005 2:50:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 01, 2005

James Seng's blog points to a recent paper published in the Internet Protocol Journal by Tony Hain regarding IPv4 allocation exhaust and references another recent paper by Geoff Huston on the same topic.

To this can be added a recent presentation by K. Claffy at ARIN entitled apocalypse then: ipv4 address space depletion:

Tuesday, November 01, 2005 4:22:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

These comparative pie charts demonstrate an ongoing shift in Internet demographics from the Americas to the Asia-Pacific region. In 2001, the Americas had 38% of the world's Internet users and Asia-Pacific had 32%. In 2004, this is essentially reversed with Asia-Pacific having 37% and the Americas with 31%. Europe has kept a relative 29% share but Africa has seen a slight gain from 1% to 3%. Because of their much larger populations and potential for growth, the Asia-Pacific region will continue to take a larger and larger percentage of the world's Internet users.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005 2:31:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, October 07, 2005

From Telegeography's Global Internet Gegraphy which provides analysis and statistics on international Internet capacity and traffic, IP transit pricing, and backbone competition.

Traffic growth was hardly consistent around the world. The most rapid traffic growth came on intraregional routes within Asia and within Latin America. Traffic within these regions increased 102 percent and 336 percent, respectively. After more than doubling between 2003 and 2004, average trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic Internet traffic slowed substantially in 2005, with both routes expanding only 42 percent. Overall, the slowest traffic growth occurred on routes connected to the U.S. (see Figure 2. Traffic Growth on U.S. and Non-U.S. Route, 2004-2005). Despite the deceleration of traffic growth on U.S. routes, 94 percent of interregional traffic is still hubbed through the U.S.

Friday, October 07, 2005 1:09:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is organizing a lunchtime parallel session on Developing a Digital Opportunity Index (DOI) that will take place in Geneva on Thursday 22 September 2005, from 13.30 – 14.45 hours at the UN Palais des Nations, Room IX, during PrepCom-3.

The Digital Opportunity Index is specifically mandated in the WSIS Plan of Action (para 28a). In this session, ITU will present a proposed methodology for the DOI, tested on 40 economies. The initial results are shown in the report Measuring Digital Opportunity, which was presented at the recent WSIS Thematic Meeting on Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships for Bridging the Digital Divide, in Seoul, Republic of Korea. More information on the methodology is available on the Digital Opportunity Index (DOI) website.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005 1:37:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 08, 2005

Lessons from broadband development in Canada, Japan, Korea and the United States by Rob FRIEDEN, Telecommunications Policy Volume 29, Issue 8, September 2005, Pages 595-613:

Broadband network development does not always track closely a nations overall wealth and economic strength. The International Telecommunication Union reported that in 2005 the five top nations for broadband network market penetration were: Korea, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Denmark and Canada. The ITU ranked the United States sixteenth in broadband penetration.

Aside from the obvious geographical and demographic advantages accruing to small nations with large urban populations, broadband development thrives when it becomes a national priority. Both developed and developing nations have stimulated capital expenditures for infrastructure in ways United States public and private sector stakeholders have yet to embrace. Such investments have accrued ample dividends including the lowest broadband access costs in the world. For example, the ITU reports that in 2002 Japanese consumers paid $0.09 per 100 kilobits per second of broadband access compared to $3.53 in the United States.

Economic policies do not completely explain why some nations offer faster, better cheaper and more convenient broadband services while other nations do not. This paper will examine best practices in broadband network development with an eye toward determining the optimal mix of legislative, regulatory and investment initiatives. The paper will track development in Canada, Japan and Korea as these nations have achieved success despite significantly different geographical, political and marketplace conditions. The paper also notes the institutional and regulatory policies that have hampered broadband development in the United States.

The paper also will examine why incumbent local exchange and cable television operators recently have begun aggressively to pursue broadband market opportunities. The paper will analyze incumbents's rationales for limited capital investment in broadband with an eye toward determining the credibility of excuses based on regulatory risk and uncertainty. The paper concludes with suggestions how national governments might expedite broadband infrastructure development.

From ScienceDirect via Ewan Sutherland's weblog.

Monday, August 08, 2005 10:11:07 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 05, 2005

At the recent ITU WSIS Thematic Meeting on Cybersecurity, Maria Cristina Bueti, Policy Analyst, Strategy and Policy Unit, ITU, presented a background paper entitled ITU Survey of Anti-Spam Laws and Authorities Worldwide. The survey was conducted in April 2005 and sent to ITU’s 189 Member States. The survey results, based on 58 responses received, showed that there are a number of countries that have already implemented anti-spam legislation. In some cases, countries use data protection laws or consumer protection laws to cope with spam issues. A number of countries do not have anti-spam legislation or any laws applicable to spam. A slide from her presentation is shown below.

Friday, August 05, 2005 10:58:37 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 03, 2005

China mobile phone subscribers totals 363 million: China had 363.2 million mobile phone subscribers and 337.4 million fixed-line telephone subscribers as of the end of June, accounting for 28% and 26% of its current population, according to statistics published by China’s Ministry of Information Industry (MII). For Internet-access services, China had 31.7 million broadband subscribers, of which 21.9 million (69.1%) used xDSL.

From DigiTimes via Ewan Sutherland's weblog.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005 6:31:45 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 29, 2005

The China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) has released its 16th China Internet Survey Report last week. According to the report, through the end of June 2005, China had 103 million Internet users, up 18.4 percent year on year. The number increased by nine million from January. Broadband users increased 23.8 percent year on year to 53 million, according to CNNIC. The number of computers in China connected to the Internet hit 45.6 million, said the report, up 25.6 percent year on year.

Friday, July 29, 2005 11:10:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Tuesday, July 26, 2005 10:44:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 14, 2005

The US FCC has recently released new data on high speed Internet use by US businesses and households where they state growth in 2004 has risen 34% for a total of 38 million lines in service. The full report (PDF) is available on the FCC web site.

Thursday, July 14, 2005 3:19:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 10, 2005

There are lots different indices which rank the world's countries according to their level of penetration of ICTs, or their e-readiness. But until now there has been no agreement on what indicators to include, or what methodology to use. Now, in the framework of the implementation of the WSIS Plan of Action, a new methodology, prepared by Michael Minges of TMG Inc on behalf of ITU, has been released for developing a composite "Digital Opportunity Index". This new methodology is based on the core list of indicators agreed by the "Partnership for Measuring ICT for Development" of UN agencies at their meeting on 7-9 February 2005.

The draft methodology is structured around eleven indicators in four clusters:

  • Affordability and coverage: Mobile phone coverage and tariff baskets for mobiles and Internet access.
  • Access path and device: Penetration of fixed-lines, mobile phones and PCs.
  • Infrastructure: Fixed and mobile Internet subscribers and international Internet bandwidth per inhabitant.
  • Quality: Penetration of fixed and mobile broadband subscribers.

The index has been developed according to a modular methodology, so that it can be easily extended, adpated for national use, or used alongside other indices, such as the UNDP's Human Development Index. As a proof-of-concept, the methodology has been applied to 40 leading economies, with Sweden, Denmark, Republic of Korea, Switzerland and Hong Kong-China appearing in the top five. The index will be further discussed at the WSIS Thematic Meeting on "Multi-stakeholder partnerships for bridging the digital divide", to be held on 23-24 June 2005, in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

More

Friday, June 10, 2005 9:31:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Directorate-General Information Society and Media of the European Commission has released a working document on Broadband access in the EU: situation at 1 January 2005.

"Take-up of high-speed "broadband" internet connections is growing fast, according to figures released on 1 June by Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. There are now 40 million broadband lines in the EU, an increase of 70% on last year. This represents 45 000 new broadband lines on average per day, up from 29 000 per day in 2003. The surge in broadband take-up, driven by competition among market players to provide consumers with faster, lower-priced internet access, bodes well for the "i2010" strategy, tabled on 1 June, to boost jobs and growth in the digital economy. New entrants are stepping up investment in broadband infrastructure to build market share. Some European countries are among the top performers in the world while others are lagging behind."

NB: The EU provides statistical rankings in their survey only EU25 member states. The ITU's statistics in broadband include non-EU25 economies.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005 6:08:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 26, 2005

The OECD has released its Broadband Statistics for OECD economies as of December 2004. The site includes some good graphics.

NB: The OECD provides statistical rankings in this survey only for OECD member economies. The ITU's statistics in broadband include non-OECD economies.

Thursday, May 26, 2005 10:00:38 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 25, 2005

2005 marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of the report of the Independent Commission ("Maitland Commission") on Worldwide Telecommunication Development, entitled "The Missing Link". To mark the anniversary, ITU has published the original report on its website, in English, French and Spanish.

The "missing link" of the title's report refers to the gap in telecommunications development, within and between nations. Although the term "digital divide" is now more common, the original arguments presented in the report are still quite valid. In particular, the report calls for "decisions at the highest political level" to bring "all of mankind within easy reach of a telephone by early part of the next century". Research by ITU (see the 2003 World Telecommunication Development Report) indicates that, by the start of this century, just over 80 per cent of the world's population were within reach of phones (increasingly mobile phones rather than fixed line telephones). Although this falls short of the original target, the "decisions at the highest political level" that the report calls for is now closer to fruition with the holding of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which is the first time this issue has been discussed at the Heads of State and Heads of Government level. The WSIS Declaration of Principles, adopted by the first phase of the WSIS in December 2003 contains the following commitment (para 10):

"We are also fully aware that the benefits of the information technology revolution are today unevenly distributed between the developed and the developing countries and within societies. We are fully committed to turning this digital divide into a digital opportunity for all, particularly for those who risk being left behind and being further marginalized". 

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 11:21:59 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 16, 2005

Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, released its newest data on Internet usage in EU25, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Norway and Iceland. The ICT household and enterprise surveys run by Eurostat measure, among other things, the rate of take up of the Internet and the use made of ICTs. This current edition highlights some of the first results from the 2004 survey round.

A comparison of Internet usage by individuals and by enterprises in several European countries, and for the first time EU25, shows that in 2004 just under half (47 per cent) of the EU25 population aged between 16-74 used the Internet. The average percentage of enterprises using the Internet in the same year was 89 per cent.

The Nordic countries, Sweden, Denmark and Finland had the highest density of Internet usage both by individuals and enterprises. Estonia was the highest user in both ranges from the new EU Member States, with the same degree of usage as the EU15 average with 50 per cent of individuals and 90 per cent of enterprises using the Internet.

Some of the main points raised in the report are:
  • SMEs are lagging behind large enterprises in Internet use.
  • There is a gender gap in Internet use overall, but this narrows in the 16-24 age group.
  • The broadband roll-out is gathering speed, overtaking ISDN as a means to access the Internet in enterprises.
  • Enterprises interact via Internet with public authorities more than individuals.
  • Almost half of the enterprises with more than 250 employees purchase via the Internet.

For the full report, see:
Statistics in Focus: Internet usage by individuals and enterprises 2004

For the related press release, see:
Internet usage in the EU25: Half of individuals and nine out of ten enterprises used the internet in 2004

Monday, May 16, 2005 8:34:01 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, May 02, 2005

The Economist Intelligence Unit has published its annual e-readiness ranking of the word's largest economies. Currently 65 countries are assessed on their ability to promote and support digital business and information and communications technology (ICT) services. A country's e-readiness is essentially a measure of its e-business environment, a collection of factors that indicate how amenable a market is to Internet-based opportunities. The ranking allows governments to gauge the success of their technology initiatives against those of other countries. It also provides companies that wish to invest in online operations with an overview of the world's most promising investment locations. The 2005 rankings

  1. Denmark
  2. US
  3. Sweden
  4. Switzerland
  5. UK

A more comprehensive method is ITU's Digital Access Index (explanation here in English, French and Spanish).

[via Information Policy]

Monday, May 02, 2005 10:39:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 28, 2005

The information society: Measurements biased by capitalism and its intent to control-dependent societies—a critical perspective, Sara Hyder

  • The brief communication examines the definition of the information society from economic, political, technological, and social conceptions, which reflect a single model of world development. International organizations use development rankings that naturally position developed nation-states at the top of world development models. The criteria used in current rankings to measure information's effect on societies are inadequate.
Thursday, April 28, 2005 3:56:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication (MIC) has published its statistics on the number of Internet Users in FY2004. Over 75 million Japanese access the Internet through mobile phones. [via my weblog]

Thursday, April 28, 2005 12:52:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 26, 2005

A Refutation of Metcalfe's Law (PDF) and a better estimate for the value of networks and network interconnections by Andrew Odlyzko and Benjamin Tilly.

  • There have been and continue to be controversies about interconnection policies of ISPs. A particularly sensitive issue is the frequent refusal of large ISPs to peer (roughly speaking, exchange traffic freely without payment) with smaller carriers. (The refusal of AOL to interconnect instant messenger systems is very similar.) This behavior has often been attributed to abusive exploitation of market power. But there may be a more innocent explanation, based on the economic value that interconnection generates. As we show in Section 2, if Metcalfe's Law held, then interconnection would produce equal value for any two network, irrespective of their relative sizes. Hence refusal to interconnect without payment would have to be due to either obtuseness on the part of management or strategic gaming. However, if network value scales like n log(n), as we argue (or by most other rules of this type, the quadratic growth of Metcalfe's Law is very unusual in this regard) then relative gains from interconnection depend on the sizes of the networks. In this case the smaller network gains considerably more than the larger one. This produces an incentive for larger networks to refuse to interconnect without payment, a very common phenomenon in the real economy.

  • Metcalfe's Law and Reed's Law both significantly overstate the value of a communication network. In their place we propose another rough rule, that the value of a network of size n grows like n log(n). This rule, while not meant to be exact, does appear to be consistent with historical behavior of networks with regard to interconnection, and it captures the advantage that general connectivity offers over broadcast networks that deliver content. It also helps explain the failure of the dot-com and telecom ventures, since it implies network effects are not as strong as had been hoped for.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005 8:17:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 21, 2005

According to new ITU research, here are the top 10 mobile operators by proportionate subscribers in the world, as of December 2004. China Mobile is in first place with over 204 million subscribers.

Thursday, April 21, 2005 1:25:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 18, 2005

Skype is proudly announcing its 100 millionth download. Recently, Richard Stastny pointed to some new stats giving a breakdown of the top Skype economies (April 2005), which looks like this if we graph it.

Another interesting look is to combine this number with the number of registered users (35 million according to this in April 2005) which offers the possibility to look at Skype users as a function of population. This shows that the largest relative percentage of Skype users are from Israel then Taiwan, China followed by Denmark.

Monday, April 18, 2005 9:39:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 07, 2003

The ITU is hosting a workshop this week on the different strategies used by ITU Member States, at both local and national levels, for promoting the deployment and use of broadband networks. The key research question is why some economies have been more successful than others and whether this success can be replicated. In preparation for the workshop, the ITU Strategy and Policy Unit has now posted its workshop background paper (PDF, Word) as well as Country Case Studies for Canada (PDF, Word), Iceland (PDF, Word), Japan (PDF. Word), Republic of Korea (PDF) and Hong Kong, China (PDF).

Monday, April 07, 2003 2:55:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 03, 2003

The OECD has declassified and made available its Indicators for the assessment of telecommunications competition (PDF).

  • "Intensified competition in OECD countries’ telecommunications sectors calls for regulations proportionate to the level of competition in the market. If regulators consider there is full-fledged competition in a telecommunications market, they should lift regulatory interventions existing in the relevant market. Therefore, regulators need a yardstick that measures the true level and scope of competition. Regulators have not yet fully developed indicators for the assessment of telecommunications competition and thus have not reached a consensus on this issue. This report explores the concept of effective competition and the definition of a relevant market, and suggests appropriate indicators and parameters for the evaluation of competitiveness in the telecommunications markets."
Monday, March 03, 2003 2:51:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 14, 2003

According to a press release by the Mobile Data Association (MDA), the total number of chargeable person-to-person text [SMS] messages sent across the four UK GSM networks in 2002 totalled 16.8 billion.

  • "For the year ahead the MDA forecasts continued growth with text messaging expected to reach 20 billion for 2003, equating to 55 million messages per day compared to an average of 43 million for 2002. The MDA will monitor the situation with a monthly statistics review - every month the MDA will post the numbers along with a reconsidered forecast for the 2003 figures on its website www.text.it."
Friday, February 14, 2003 4:30:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 15, 2003

ITU's annual World Telecommunication/ICT Indicators Meeting opened today. The meeting will cover topics related to the definition, collection, processing, dissemination and use of telecommunication/ICT indicators (statistics). The programme and list of documents is available.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003 11:10:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, December 17, 2002
Tuesday, December 17, 2002 6:43:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 12, 2002

"Sender-keeps-all" or "bill-and-keep" accounting mechanisms are simple accounting schemes common in the deployment of new telecommunication technologies. However, in asymmetric traffic environments or where highly diversified service offerings emerge (e.g. those requiring guaranteed bandwidth), these models tend to shift to revenue sharing mechanisms among operators and/or content providers. In some cases, this can lead to new market dynamics. One example is the success of NTT Docomo's i-mode service, which some argue is mostly related to its billing gateway technology, permitting revenue sharing and encouraging the growth of new external content providers.

Many previously "free" Internet services are shifting to subscription or metered-based schemes and there's a lot of standards activity underway focused on charging, accounting and cross-operator settlement schemes for IP-based networks. In the public switched telephone network (PSTN) world, which is focused on a single service, voice, accounting mechanisms are primarily built around call detail records (CDRs). In the IP-based world, the service offerings can be much wider (voice, email, web, streaming access), so the challenge has been to develop a more flexible format that can capture the relevant metrics for a wide range of service classes. An interesting development is the Internet Protocol Detail Record (IPDR).

ITU-T Study Group 3, who deal with tariff and accounting principles including related telecommunication economic and policy issues, are currently meeting at the ITU. At this meeting, the Internet Protocol Detail Record Organization (IPDR), has given an interesting presentation (PDF) on its latest activities, particularly with regard to the emerging Network Data Management Usage (NDM-U) specification. This is a development to keep an eye on in the future.

Thursday, December 12, 2002 12:24:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, December 04, 2002

Two university research pieces for those interested in mapping the Internet. Boston University's: On the Geographic Location of Internet Resources (PDF) and the University of Washington's: Rocketfuel: An ISP Topology Mapping Engine.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002 1:07:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Coinciding with ITU TELECOM Asia 2002,  the ITU has published its 5th edition of the Asia-Pacific Telecommunication Indicators. A presentation (PDF) with highlights and extracts is available as is a related summary of the report. The report demonstrates the Asia-Pacific region has now become the world's largest telecom market. Asia-Pacific also leads in advanced Internet technologies such as broadband access and mobile data. The Republic of Korea and Hong Kong, China, are the top two economies in the world in terms of broadband Internet penetration. In mobile Internet, Japan and the Republic of Korea were the first two nations to launch third generation cellular networks commercially. The region also has the largest percentage of Internet users. These exploits corroborate the view that the global telecommunications epicentre is shifting from North America and Western Europe to the Asia-Pacific region. Also see the related ITU Press Release.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002 12:20:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 22, 2002

Readers will have noticed that I've had a link to the works of Andrew Odlyzko for some time at the bottom right. That's because I like his research, particulary his work on debunking of Internet growth rates (PDF). This week, The Economist has also picked up on his research in a piece"It was an essential ingredient of dotcom business plans and conference slide-shows: Internet traffic, went the industry's favourite statistic, doubles every 100 days...". Unfortunately, it wasn't true.

Monday, July 22, 2002 5:01:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     |