ITU just published a new report on “Measuring ICT availability in villages and rural areas”. The study will help measure one of the objectives of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), “to connect villages with information and communication technologies (ICT) and establish community access points.” The study estimates that the world is home to about three million villages, of which 92 per cent are in the developing world.
Note — Regional figures are country averages. Telephone refers to fixed-telephone service. Data are from the latest national household survey which is not always compiled on an annual basis. The dates of the surveys used to compile the date range from 2000-2006.
Source: ITU/BDT research.
It also provides estimates on the availability of electricity, fixed-telephone service and public Internet facilities in localities, by region, across the world. Except for Africa, the level of electrification has reached over half the world’s cities, towns and villages, including almost all in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Country averages for communities with a telephone service reache close to 50 per cent in the Americas and in the Asia-Pacific region, and 60 per cent in Europe & CIS. In Africa, just over ten per cent of communities have a fixed-telephone service, compared with nearly 30 per cent in the Arab States. Except for Europe&CIS, country averages for Internet access are very low. In the Americas, around one in six communities has Internet access, compared to one in ten in the Asia-Pacific region. Elsewhere, the country average is below five per cent. Africa stands out with very low levels of access to ICT. For the developing world as a whole, ITU estimates that 30 per cent of communities have fixed-telephone access and eight per cent have Internet access.
To see the full report, go to: http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/material/Measuring%20ICT_web.pdf.