She also emphasized the importance of understanding the demand-side perspective of affordability that has direct impact on users, for evidence based policy making, to an audience that usually replies on supply-side data. On the of the key highlights in the ITU’s recent release, Measuring the Information Society Report (MISR 2018
), was that “51.2 per cent of individuals, or 3.9 billion people, were using the Internet.” This is possibly the result of supply-side data that counts active data enabled SIMs (including those used by machines such as credit card readers) as opposed to only humans. The disparity can be jarring. For example, our recent demand-side research After Access
shows only approx. 19 per cent of the Indian population between ages 15-65 use the Internet. Even if we account for 5-14 year and 65+ olds (with due assumptions of Internet use) the numbers are still low. Given the session was about affordability, barriers to access and use of ICTs in the Global South from our After Access research were also presented. While mobile phone ownership far surpasses that of computers, the majority of devices being used in lower income developing economies are still basic phones. Though lack of affordability is cited as the prime reason for not owning a mobile phone, lack of awareness takes precedence among non-users of the Internet. As a consumer journeys through the various stages from non user to user, limitations to access and use of ICTs varies. For example lack of awareness or technical know-how is a barrier for non users, once they become aware of the benefits costs of getting online become more apparent; for the more tech savvy users privacy and security are major concerns.