The Affordability Index, created by the Alliance for Affordable Internet, measures the value of the Internet in emerging and developing economies. Connectivity, in fact, is universally considered an important reserve of economic growth.
The Affordability Index
The Affordability Index measures the Internet accessibility ranking of 51 countries that are emerging or developing, by analysing national policies on infrastructure investments and economic incentives for broadband. With this data, the Alliance for Affordable Internet drew up a ranking that highlights the best countries.
The idea behind this is that the Internet is a driver of economic growth; ensuring “low-cost” access to it will thus allow freedom from poverty. Often, however, a lack of money is the main obstacle to Internet use. In the 2015-2016 report, AFAI reported how many countries are still far from the internationally established goal: broadband services should not cost more than 5% of per capita income. Furthermore, there are marked differences by gender, with women having less Internet access than men.
The comparison with 2014
At the top of the AFAI list we see, in order, Colombia and Costa Rica, which have swapped positions with respect to 2014. The top ten list has two new members: Morocco (7th, the first among African countries) and Mexico (9th). Mexico’s success is mainly due to new telecommunications regulations approved in 2014. For Morocco, however, what was most important was infrastructure investments and the effects of a long period of two reforms launched years ago: the establishment of a public guarantee of telecommunications and a plan to privatise the sector.
The biggest jump, however, is that of Myanmar, which leapt from 36th to 27th place, thanks to interventions to open up the telecom sector and the introduction of broadband services.