ICT/Telecommunication development in least developed countries

New ITU report on the history, state and trends of ICT development in least developed countries.

Main report conclusions:

  • Teledensity has doubled (even multipliyed per 20).
  • Connectivity goes mobile and cellulars increase prominence. Wireless can boost too the increase in connectivity and teledensity.
  • Access and interest (i.e. e-education, e-health, e-business, e-agriculture, and e-government) in the Internet increases. ICTs look like the last train to development.
  • Lack or weak policy making and regulating in the ICT arena.
  • Still high cost of connectivity.
  • Lack of local relevant content.

Main comments (on my side):

  • What teledensity? low or broadband? It seems it’s just “lines”. But, are these “lines” worth the name of connectivity when the world goes broadband demanding?
  • It seems like (for the first time, at least being I aware of this) ITU is focusing new strategies not only to infrastructures development but also to e-services, which is definitely good news.
  • Same with regulation. On the other side, I wonder this will mean free market at whatever price. I wonder if mixed formulae (public ownership of infrastrucures, free market for apps and services) will be considered: there are many examples where private ownerwship of infrastructure has lead to (a) de facto monopolies and/or (b) sub-optimal investment in infrastructures.
  • It looks like is trendy and hypy to talk about ICTs for disaster prevention (just remember Katrina and Indonesia tsunami), but it is still not that trendy to talk about ICT for capacitation, human capital, self-entrepreneurship and other endogenous development concepts.
  • No mention to free software (infrastructure) or open access (content) paradigms. I just cannot believe it. Completely astonished.

The report:

[via Telconomics, ITU and i4d]

If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2006) “ICT/Telecommunication development in least developed countries” In ICTlogy, #36, September 2006. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from http://ictlogy.net/review/?p=441

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