In September 2013, the Broadband Commission for Digital
Development (established in May 2010 by the International
Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation
(UNESCO)) published a report titled "The
State of Broadband 2013: Universalising Broadband"
The Report offers some very interesting insights into the
development of broadband globally, and how the world is faring
against goals created (including the Millennium Development Goals).
It is fascinating to learn that:
Over the last two years, the mobile industry has added
one billion more subscriptions
The number of mobile subscriptions is set to exceed 7 billion
and overtake the total world population next
Mobile broadband subscriptions are set to reach 7
billion subscriptions by 2018
Overall, fixed broadband penetration rates remain low (6.1% in
developing countries, compared with 27.2% in developing countries
It is really important that the Pacific doesn't get left
Some key Pacific statistics
The Report sets out key statistics on the development of
broadband worldwide. We summarise the Pacific statistics in the
Do they have a Broadband
Note: * means ITU estimate (world ranking)
Fixed BB Penetration
Mobile BB Penetration
Households with Internet (developing
Individuals using Internet
National Broadband Network (2010)
National Broadband Policy 2011
Papua New Guinea
National ICT and PNG LNG Fibre cable project
National Broadband Spectrum Plan (2010)
Tonga-Fiji Connectivity Project: Pacific Regional
Connectivity Program (2011)
Unfortunately, a lot of the Pacific-related data is cited as
unavailable. However, points of note from the available data
Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga have broadband plans in
place. The Report cites recent research which indicates that
broadband plans are associated with fixed broadband penetration
some 2.5% higher on average than countries without plans, and
mobile broadband penetration some 7.4% higher on average than
countries without plans
Fiji consistently outperforms the other jurisdictions in terms
of penetration, BUT Tonga has the highest
percentage of individuals using the internet (34.9%).With the
ongoing introduction of undersea cable systems in other
jurisdictions (including existing systems in Tonga and Samoa, the
Interchange system about to 'go live' in Vanuatu, and the
planned introduction of a cable in the Solomon Islands), with the
associated increase in available bandwidth and speed, and reduction
in costs, we hope that the only direction these statistics can go
With an updated National Broadband Policy, a proposed National
Broadband Network, and continued inbound investment, PNG's
percentage of internet users, the lowest of all the Pacific
jurisdictions measured, might soon see an increase.
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