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Economic Impact of Broadband, Digitization and ICT Regulation

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​Today's digital transformation is changing economies at warp speed and scale. The ITU series on "The economic contribution of broadband, digitization and ICT regulation" examines this revolution from a data and evidence-based perspective. It quantifies the positive impact of broadband, digital transformation, and the interplay of ICT regulation on national economies by applying econometric modelling techniques. 

Importantly, this series developed in the framework of BDT Thematic Priority on Policy and Regulation builds on several years of robu​​st and reliable data resources to measure the impact of institutional and regulatory variables on the development of the digital ecosystem using top-tier data metrics on the digital ecosystem and the maturity of ICT regulatory frameworks, namely the Digital ecosystem development index and the ITU ICT regulatory tr​acker.​​

This analysis uses econometric modelling to pinpoint the impact
of fixed and mobile broadband and digitization on the global economy and its contribution to national economies.
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How broadband, di​gitization and ICT regulation impact the global economy
In 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the central importance of ICT to national, regional and global economies. As decision-makers consider where to place investment spend on ICT and the digital ecosystem in the years ahead - and on infrastructure programmes more generally - this report offers important and practical guidance both for developing and developed countries. The report is based on recent high-quality data and global in scope, and offers four clear high-level recommendations.

In addition, the report sets out six powerful and concrete steps which will maximize the economic impact of strategic ICT investment decisions, as well as concrete recommendations designed to boost economic impact.

As economies worldwide look at ways to reinvent and re-charge themselves, this short powerful report is a must-read for governments, policy-makers, regulators, operators and influencers. [Blog]


The Regional Econometric studies

Following the Global study, a series of Regional Econometric modelling studies was developed to present a set of econometric analyses that estimate the contribution of broadband and digital transformation, as well as the impact of ICT policy and regulation on the development of the digital economy in each region.​

The outcomes of these regional studies may serve as key reference material to illustrate the impact of fixed and mobile broadband on the economy, where the regions stand in terms of digitization, and the impact of digitization on Gross Domestic Product (GDP). ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Econometric modelling for Africa


An increase of 10% in mobile broadband penetration in Africa would yield an increase in 2.5% in GDP per capita. An increase of 10% in the ITU ICT Regulatory Tracker yields a positive increase in the CAF Digital Ecosystem Development Index of 0.682%.​  Mor​e.

Econometric modelling for Arab States

In terms of policy and regulatory framework an increase of 10% of digitization, in the CAF Digital Ecosystem Development Index, results in 2.49% growth in GDP per capita in the Arab States.​​ More.

Econometric modelling for The Americas


The analysis suggests that an increase of 10%​​​ in fixed broadband penetration in the Americas would yield an increase in 1.9% in GDP per capita. An increase of 10% in the CAF Digital Ecosystem Development Index results in a 1.9% growth in GDP per capitaMore.

Econometric modelling for Asia and Pacific



The impact of policy and regulatory frameworks was noted, an increase of 10% in the ITU ICT Regulatory Tracker yields a positive increase in the CAF Digital Ecosystem Development Index of 1.875%​ in the Asia-Pacific countries.​ M​ore​.

Econometric modelling for CIS

In the CIS region, an increase of 10% in the ITU ICT Regulatory Tracker yields a positive increase in the CAF Digital Ecosystem Development Index of 1.58%​. An increase of 10% in fixed broadband penetration would yield an increase in 0.63% in GDP per capita. M​ore.

Econometric modelling for Europe

The impact of policy and regulatory frameworks on the development of digitization in Europe is positive, an increase of 10% in digitization (CAF digital Ecosystem Development Index) results in 1.4% growth in GDP per capita. ​ Mo​​​re​​.