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17.6.2 Fixed Internet Broadband Subscriptions per 100 Inhabitants

Target 17.6: Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge-sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism

Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Finance

Custodian Organization: International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Tier Classification: Tier I

To facilitate the implementation of the global indicator framework, all indicators are classified by the IAEG-SDGs (Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goals Indicators) into three tiers on the basis of their level of methodological development and the availability of data at the global level, as follows:

Tier I: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, and data are regularly produced by countries for at least 50 per cent of countries and of the population in every region where the indicator is relevant.

Tier II: Indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data are not regularly produced by countries.

Tier III: No internationally established methodology or standards are yet available for the indicator, but methodology/standards are being (or will be) developed or tested.

Source: United Nations Statistical Division

Definition: The indicator fixed Internet broadband subscriptions, by speed, refers to the number of fixed-broadband subscriptions to the public Internet, split by advertised download speed.

Concepts: Fixed Internet broadband subscriptions refer to subscriptions to high-speed access to the public Internet (a TCP/IP connection), at downstream speeds equal to, or greater than, 256 kbit/s. This includes cable modem, DSL, fibre-to-the-home/building, other fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions, satellite broadband and terrestrial fixed wireless broadband. This total is measured irrespective of the method of payment. It excludes subscriptions that have access to data communications (including the Internet) via mobile-cellular networks. It should include fixed WiMAX and any other fixed wireless technologies. It includes both residential subscriptions and subscriptions for organizations.

The Internet is a worldwide public computer network. It provides access to a number of communication services including the World Wide Web and carries e-mail, news, entertainment and data files.

Rationale: The Internet has become an increasingly important tool to provide access to information, and can help foster and enhance regional and international cooperation on, and access to, science, technology and innovations, and enhance knowledge sharing. High-speed Internet access is important to ensure that Internet users have quality access to the Internet and can take advantage of the growing amount of Internet content – including user-generated content –, services and information.

While the number of fixed-broadband subscriptions has increased substantially over the last years and while service providers offer increasingly higher speeds, fixed Internet broadband can vary tremendously by speed, thus affecting the quality and functionality of Internet access. Many countries, especially in the developing world, have not only a very limited amount of fixed-broadband subscriptions, but also at very low speeds. This limitation is a barrier to the Target 17.6 and the indicator highlights the potential of the Internet (especially through high-speed access) to enhance cooperation, improve access to science, technology and innovation, and share knowledge. The indicator also highlights the importance of Internet use as a development enabler and helps to measure the digital divide, which, if not properly addressed, will aggravate inequalities in all development domains. Information on fixed broadband subscriptions by speed will contribute to the design of targeted policies to overcome those divides.

Limitations: Since most Internet service providers offer plans linked to download speed, the indicator is relatively straightforward to collect. Countries may use packages that do not align with the speeds used for this group of indicators. Countries are encouraged to collect the data in more speed categories so as to allow aggregation of the data according to the split shown above. In the future, ITU might start to include higher-speed categories, reflecting the increasing demand and availability of higher-speed broadband subscriptions.

Source: United Nations Statistical Division

Data Source: Data for this indicator was primarily collected from the United Nations Statistics Division’s Open SDG Data Hub. National level data is provided to the United Nations Statistics Division by the respective nation, unless otherwise noted. To learn more about the data used in this portal, visit the about page.

Data is accurate as of October 31, 2018.


17.6.2 Fixed Internet Broadband Subscriptions per 100 Inhabitants in the Sustainable Development Goals

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17. Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
17. Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

17. Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

A successful sustainable development agenda requires partnerships between governments, the private sector and civil society. These inclusive partnerships built upon principles and values, a shared vision, and shared goals that place people and the planet at the centre, are needed at the global, regional, national and local level.

Urgent action is needed to mobilize, redirect and unlock the transformative power of trillions of dollars of private resources to deliver on sustainable development objectives. Long-term investments, including foreign direct investment, are needed in critical sectors, especially in developing countries. These include sustainable energy, infrastructure and transport, as well as information and communications technologies. The public sector will need to set a clear direction. Review and monitoring frameworks, regulations and incentive structures that enable such investments must be retooled to attract investments and reinforce sustainable development. National oversight mechanisms such as supreme audit institutions and oversight functions by legislatures should be strengthened.