A 10 percentage-point increase in broadband results in a 1.3 % increase in economic growth
For every 10 percentage-point increase in high speed Internet connections there is an increase in economic growth of 1.3 percentage points.This is one of the conclusions from the World Bank report “Information and Communications for Development 2009: Extending Reach and Increasing Impact” just published last week. The report takes an in-depth look at how ICT impacts economic growth in developing countries. The findings are forceful and I see them as an urgent call for action. The reports also identifies the mobile platform as the single most powerful way to reach and deliver public and private services to hundreds of millions of people in remote and rural areas across the developing world.Broadband networks and ICT are a critical foundational element for the information economy and countries’ ability to compete. Countries that take wise and forceful steps to create a competitive ICT market will be able to bring the benefits of the information economy to their citizens.Other findings:- Access to affordable, high quality mobile phone and internet services enables development across all levels of the economy and society- Mobile networks, with over 4 billion connections, constitute the world’s largest distribution platform. Virtually all new mobile customers in the coming years will be in developing counties- The number of Internet users in developing countries jumped ten times between 2000 and 2007, but there are high disparities among regions- Access to broadband completes the information foundation for a modern economy and should be a priority in national developments plans- Coverage amongst telecommunications, media and computing is a widespread, market-driven reality. Internet-based VoIP services make it possible to substantially lower calling prices- The information technology (IT) services industry can address key development challenges by increasing productivity and exports, and promoting social inclusion- Jobs created in IT services and IT-Enabled Services (ITES) lead to the creation of jobs in other sectors. Women account for a high percentage of the workforce in IT and ITES-related jobs.- The Global market for IT and IT-Enabled Services represented $475 billion in 2007 with less than 15 percent of the market ($70 billion) exploited.- Some developing countries are taking advantage of the fast-growing global IT and ITES industries. (Only Mexico stands out in Latin America)- Modern, ICT-enabled governments can reduce transaction costs and processing time and increase government revenues- Various types of national e-government institutions have evolved to meet the challenges of leading, promoting, coordinating, and facilitating e-government programsWhile the report is only partially available online, something I encourage the World Bank to reconsider, the authors did a great job making a data tool available so users can create and download different type of reports. The data tool is available online. Have fun. The numbers do not lie.