Updated Analysis of the Broadband Infrastructure in Asia Pacific

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This working paper aims to provide data and update analysis on broadband connectivity, specifically in the area of broadband and telephony markets, domestic and international Internet connectivity as well as international bandwidth among 27 ESCAP member countries, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Viet Nam. In addition, historical trends and projected requirements for international bandwidth for voice, corporate data as well as the international Internet are presented for each country.

This study was conducted in support of the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway (AP-IS), a regional broadband connectivity initiative. The AP-IS is designed around four pillars of 1) developing physical ICT infrastructure, 2) improving Internet traffic and network management, 3) enhancing e-resilience and 4) promoting digital inclusion. The AP-IS initiative aims to be a catalyst to develop seamless regional broadband networks which improve affordability, reliance, resilience and coverage and thereby narrow the digital divide, develop the Internet ecosystem, support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and stimulate digital economy in Asia and the Pacific.

In recognition of the need for concerted regional efforts to address the disparities and develop broadband connectivity for the achievement of SDGs, the inaugural session of the Committee on Information and Communications Technology, Science, Technology and Innovation, held from 5-7 October 2016 in Bangkok, endorsed the AP-IS Master Plan and Regional Cooperation Framework Document.

This report was developed in support of the AP-IS Pillars on developing physical ICT infrastructure as well as improving Internet traffic and network management. The findings point to disparities within the Asia-Pacific region in terms of available international bandwidth, affordability and physical ICT infrastructure.

The report aims to stimulate discussions among policy and decision makers, private sector, academia and think tanks on how regional broadband connectivity could be shaped for inclusive broadband and digital economy for the achievement of SDGs and to promote concrete policy and regulatory updates, financing and investment requirements and implementation modalities to pave the way to realize the vision of the AP-IS.


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