Several years back, Korea topped the OECD’s broadband rankings and the ITU’s Digital Opportunity Index. That caused a lot of countries to reexamine their broadband policies. It caused others to develop new indices. The NYT carries a report on one: After the United States, the ranking found that Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway rounded out the five most productive users of connectivity. Japan ranked 10, and Korea, 18.
Mark Wood, who among other things coordinates the group that is working harmonizing the address space for cell broadcasts on mobiles at ITU-T, had an intensive discussion with representatives of Sri Lanka mobile operators at a meeting organized at very short notice by LIRNEasia on 2nd of October 2008. He was on his way back from a successful visit to Male to speak at a cell broadcasting workshop co-organized by LIRNEasia and the Telecom Authority of Maldives. Why is harmonization important? Coastal areas are vulnerable to rapid-onset, broad-spectrum hazards such as tsunamis and cyclones. Coastal areas also attract large numbers of tourists.
A recently released survey indicates Japan has the best quality broadband Internet services, with Sweden and the Netherlands completing the top three. Researchers used download/upload speeds, and internet latency when compiling numbers from eight million tests completed in May 2008. Sweden and the Netherlands were able to be the top European broadband nations because of their efforts in “increasing investments in fiber and cable network upgrades, coupled with competition diversity, and supported by strong government vision and policy.” Even though it’s difficult to define quality internet, regardless of how questions were reworded, Oxford University Said Business School researchers found Japan remained on top of 41 other nations in the “Broadband Quality Score.” Latvia, Korea, Switzerland, Lithuania, Denmark, Germany and Slovenia are the nations that round out the top ten quality broadband nations, according to researchers.
A United Nations survey of global e-government readiness has found that many Asian countries are sliding down the rankings. Just one Asian country—South Korea—made the top ten coming in at sixth, with Japan next on 11th. The next highest was Singapore at a surprisingly low 23rd, and Malaysia at 34th. The top 35 countries are otherwise dominated by Europe, Australasia and North America. The biggest revelation was that most Asian countries are sliding down the rankings.
The OECD has published comparative data on broadband speeds and prices. This will help drive prices down and quality up. The rest of the countries need to develop their own benchmarks. BBC NEWS | Technology | Global broadband prices revealed According to the report, broadband prices for DSL connections across the 30 countries have fallen by 19% and increased in speed by 29% in the year to October 2006. Cable prices and speeds followed a similar trend.
The e-readiness rankings are relatively well regarded and do not contain absurdities such as Zimbabwe being ahead of India. The latest rankings are out and show India and the Philippines tied for 54th place (a one-place drop for India); Sri Lanka at 61 (dropping two places); and Pakistan at 63 (up four places and likely to catch up with Sri Lanka soon). Indonesia, another country of focus for LIRNEasia, has slipped 5 places to 67. Zimbabwe, the country that leads all of South Asia according to the ITU, is not in the top- 70 that is provided. Nigeria, on the other hand, is just behind Sri Lanka, at 62.
Looks like we have a virtuous cycle of investment going on. Not only the mobiles, but the fixed operators too are engaging in significant investment. Possibly the unusual predilection of the Sri Lankan consumer for fixed phones, over mobile, keeps Suntel going. For those not from Sri Lanka, 1 USD = 106 LKR, just lopping off two zeros will you a good sense of what is being discussed. LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO Telecom operator Suntel, a unit of Sweden’s Overseas Telecom AB, plans to spend 3.