Access to Internet Index

Index Initiative studied the feasibility of developing an “Access to Internet Index”. What is the role of mobile operators in bridging the digital divide? The study concludes there is a strong case for developing this index as mobile Internet is now the dominant access mode in developing countries. Mobile operators have a unique role as providers of and investors in last-mile connectivity. Their networks allow billions of people to connect to the Internet. Improving access to the Internet directly contributes to SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure) and in particular target 9C but can also make important contributions to SDG 1 (no poverty), SDG 2 (zero hunger), SDG 3 (good health and wellbeing), SDG 4 (quality education), SDG 5 (gender equality), SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), SDG 10 (reduced inequalities) and SDG 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions).

However, the Internet ecosystem is changing rapidly, with many of the major players moving across the value chain, and new players entering and disrupting entire segments. Stakeholder consultations during the coming period will focus on refining the scope of the index and building a coalition of stakeholders supporting its development. This can result in the inclusion of additional industries and companies.