High-speed Internet improves economies and livelihoods in least developed countries, says new UN Broadband Commission report

New York City, 12 July 2018 – The UN Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development’s Working Group on Broadband for the Most Vulnerable Countries today issued a report at the United Nations Headquarters, showing that broadband (high-speed Internet) plays a valuable role in helping Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to overcome vulnerabilities, grow economies and enhance people’s livelihoods.

The report Broadband for national development in four LDCs: Cambodia, Rwanda, Senegal and Vanuatu highlights considerable progress across the four countries in expanding infrastructure and improving affordability of broadband, including:
  • Rwanda is building a 4G/LTE wireless broadband network that will cover 95 per cent of its population by 2018.
  • Senegal’s effective use of public-private partnerships to achieve broadband access for all.
  • Vanuatu’s initiative to achieve 98 per cent broadband coverage by 2018.
  • Cambodia’s low mobile Internet prices – some of the least expensive in the world.
Narrowband services such as text messages in the health and agricultural sector and mobile money have also helped to improve livelihoods, says the report.
“It is possible to start to overcome the challenges of ensuring access to broadband. In the four case studies we see signs of progress, yet also areas for further work. I hope that the recommendations here will help to unlock the myriad potential benefits that broadband can bring to communities, so that we leave no one behind as we strive to connect the most vulnerable of countries,” said Ms. Fekitamoeloa ‘Utoikamanu, Under-Secretary-General and High-Representative for Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS) – and chair of the working group that published the report…