Rationale and definition:
Information and communication technologies (ICT) and other advanced technologies are critical for economic development and achieving the other SDGs. We propose that an index be developed to track the quality, performance, and affordability of countries’ ICT infrastructure.
The proposed index would measure four equally weighted dimensions of ICT maturity:
- Fixed broadband quality measured as mean downlink speed (in kilobits per second), as established through user speed tests;
- Mobile broadband quality measured as the proportion of download speed test measurements with 10 Mbps downlink speed (or better);
- International bandwidth capacity measured as bandwidth connected across international borders to metropolitan areas as of mid-year (expressed in megabit per second (mbps); and
- Mobile broadband affordability measured as the mobile broadband prices as a percentage of per capita monthly GNI.
Each component of the index and the overall index could be normalized to values between 1 and 100.
Opportunities for disaggregation to be reviewed once the indicator has been developed.
Comments and limitations:
This indicator and indicator 62, which measures the urban and rural usage dimension of the ICT infrastructure, are strongly interlinked and must be reviewed together. Since ICT standards and associated usage evolve rapidly, any index for the quality of a country’s ICT infrastructure will need to be revised periodically – perhaps every five years. Access to data could be a limitation to developing in this index.
We underscore our general reluctance to include composite indices in the SDG monitoring framework (see Section III). However, the proposed Index on ICT maturity would depend largely on data that is not collected through NSOs and could be provided by an industry association. In this case it would not add to the statistical burden on NSOs. We welcome suggestions for alternative metrics for ICT maturity.
Preliminary assessment of current data availability by Friends of the Chair:
Primary data source:
Potential lead agency or agencies:
ITU in collaboration with providers of the speed test and bandwidth data.