International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Research

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International Journal of Information and Communication Technology Research

Broadband Assessment Index: A Framework and Composite Metric for Measuring Broadband in Developing Countries

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Author(s) Gilbert Barasa Mugeni
On Pages 850-861
Volume No. 2
Issue No. 11
Issue Date November, 2012
Publishing Date November, 2012
Keywords Broadband Assessment Index, BAI, Broadband, Framework, Metric, Broadband Measurement, Developing countries.


This paper presents a framework, and a composite broadband metric, the Broadband Assessment Index (BAI) that scores the state of broadband of a developing country based on three sub -indices namely, broadband readiness (BR), broadband intensity (BI), and broadband adoption (BA), respectively across 13 constructs. The 13 constructs were found to significantly explain the variation of the sub-indices in studies earlier undertaken by the author. This is the first composite broadband assessment instrument across the three domains of the broadband eco-system, namely readiness, intensity and adoption specifically designed for use in developing countries. Currently, some of the available proxy benchmarks for the assessment of the state of broadband are the ITUís ICT development index (IDI), and the World Economic Forumís Networked Readiness Index (NRI) which globally rank countries on ICT development and Networked readiness respectively. Compared to the IDI, and the NRI frameworks, the BAI framework introduces additional constructs such as Age, Income, Digital literacy, and access to mobile broadband that are crucial for assessing the state of broadband in developing countries. Using real-world hard data from re-known international organisations including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the World Bank, the United Nations, and the World Economic Forum (WEF), the top ranked Sub-Saharan Africa countries in the 2011 ITUís IDI, and World Economic Forumís NRI rankings are evaluated using the BAI framework. The results appropriately validate the BAI framework, and show distinct advantages of the BAI framework over the IDI and NRI frameworks when applied to developing countries. This is due to the emphasis placed on ďaccess to fixed broadbandĒ by the former frameworks, and their failure to put more emphasis on mobile broadband access, digital literacy, age, income, and the individual as the unit of investigation. The BAI framework incorporates measures to correct for these anomalies. In addition to improving their international ICT performance rankings, the BAI framework recommends that developing countries identify BAI factors that best align with their short term and long term development strategies, such as the development of national broadband policies or strategies. The BAI computation algorithm can be easily automated, and the sub-index and construct weights varied to reflect the priorities of a particular decision modeler to suit a given countryís special requirements. Furthermore, although designed with special focus on developing country characteristics, the BAI can be used in international broadband benchmarks with results that will relatively score developing countries higher up than with current international benchmarking frameworks. The paper3 proceeds to outline the methodology of the BAI framework and index, itís evaluation and validation, comparison with the IDI and NRI frameworks, and finally outlines recommendations to stakeholders in the broadband eco-system.

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