India was ranked 47th out of 86 nations in the Inclusive Internet Index 2018, which was released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) on February 26, 2018.
The EIU was commissioned by social media giant Facebook. This year's index covered 91 per cent of the world's population and an expanded data set of 86 countries, up from 75 countries in 2017.
• The report ranked India at the 47th position when it comes to inclusive Internet and connectivity for all due to low usage and poor quality.
• Among the Asian nations, India featured in the middle at the 12th position from a total of 23.
• India was placed at or near the top of the lower-middle-income bracket on most indicators, except for availability, where it was ranked 13th out of 23.
• India’s position is compromised by low usage and poor quality despite relatively strong infrastructure.
• The top five in the list included Sweden at the 1st position followed by Singapore, the United States, Denmark and South Korea.
• The bottom five in the list included Congo at the 86th position followed closely by Malawi, Madagascar, Liberia and Burkina Faso.
The index assessed a country's Internet inclusion across four categories:
Availability: This category examines the quality and breadth of available infrastructure required for access and levels of Internet usage.
Affordability: This category examines the cost of access relative to income and the level of competition in the Internet marketplace.
Relevance: This category examines the existence and extent of local language content and relevant content.
Readiness: This category examines the capacity to access the Internet, including skills, cultural acceptance, and supporting policy.
About Economist Intelligence Unit
The unit is a British business within the Economist Group, which provides forecasting and advisory services through research and analysis.
Inclusive Internet Index: Background
• Across the surveyed countries, on an average, 33.5 per cent of men are more likely to have Internet access than women.
• The gap is even larger in low-income countries, which have an average gender access gap of 80.2 per cent compared with 3.7 per cent among high-income countries.
• According to the index, the Internet is empowering, especially to the citizens in Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
• It shows that global connectivity has increase by 8.3 per cent and more people are connected than ever before.
• Nearly 67 per cent of the survey respondents believe that access to the Internet is a human right.
• Emerging markets, especially in Africa, experienced the fastest and greatest progress over the last year.
• According to Facebook, mobile Internet services are increasingly vital in many low-income countries, especially the ones where fixed-line Internet access is too expensive or inaccessible.
• The index reveals that coverage of 4G networking services grew significantly as networks in low-income countries got upgraded.
• In fact, the average 4G coverage rate for low-income countries increased year-over-year from 9.1 per cent to 17.3 per cent.
• The cost of accessing the Internet is also falling.
• The cost of mobile broadband data plans in lower-income countries also decreased about 17.3 per cent from last year.
Overall, the index noted that people were still devoting too much of their earnings on Internet access relative to their income level.