The notion of “unconnected” not only remains to rural areas but also to urban places, reveals a research by the Wireless Broadband Alliance. The study, conducted as a part of the World Wi-Fi Day (today), revealed that 57% of the global urban population remain unconnected. Around 37% of these people reside in the world’s wealthiest countries.
According to the report, Europe has only 17% of the unconnected urban population, the lowest among the rest. The Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region report the highest in the same at 82%.
In terms of cities, London has only 8% of the unconnected population and hence becomes the most connected global city. Lagos is the least at 88.3%. New York and Los Angeles currently have 27% and 25% of their population unconnected. Shanghai in China too has a whopping share of population staying unconnected, a 42%.
Several parameters, including the price of the broadband, political nature of the place, age, computer literacy, income, and access to computers affect the broadband adoption, the study pointed out.
“There is a clear divide between the digital haves and the digital have-nots. While this divide generally mirrors socioeconomic trends around the world, there are surprisingly high levels of urban unconnected citizens in major cities,” said Shrikant Shenwai, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance.
Supporting the initiative of Wireless Broadband Alliance, several organizations such as AlwaysOn (South Africa), BT (UK), Cosmote (Greece), CSL (Hong Kong), Fon (several countries), DoCoMo (Japan), KPN (the Netherlands), Proximus (Belgium), Romania Telekom and Telstra (Australia) have come up with supporting moves. Nearly 80+ organizations offered free Wi-Fi access to people across the world.
Under the City Wi-Fi Roaming initiative, the people will be allowed to automatically roam, throughout July and August, between public Wi-Fi networks of major cities including New York, San Francisco, San Jose and Singapore.
The World Wi-Fi Day is also supported by the Connected City Advisory Board (CCAB). “Affordable and sustainable broadband connectivity within cities is an absolute must. Not only is it helping citizens today, but connectivity will be the key to transforming and improving the development of cities around the world in years to come,” said Reza Jafari, Chairman, and CEO of the CCAB. CCAB assists in the development and execution of Connected City Plans.
The research was undertaken by Maravedis Rethink Research for the Wireless Broadband Alliance. The Wireless Broadband Alliance has launched World Wi-Fi Day as a means to promote the benefits of Wi-Fi as well as to bridge the existing digital divide across the world.