The global body advocating for cheaper internet access, Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) has reviewed its affordability target from ‘1 for 2’ to the ‘Journey from 1 to 5’. According to the body, this new target encourages governments across the world to set targets for the cost of 5GB of broadband, both mobile and fixed, to be no more than 2 per cent of average monthly incomes by 2026.
A4A1 said this enables its targets to remain relevant to an internet that increasingly includes video content and continues to match with the volumes that are most frequently on offer in the mobile market – 1, 2, and 5 gigabytes.
“The Journey from 1 to 5 raises the ambition to increase the affordability of data at scale from first experiences online for billions of people across the globe to a sustainable minimum for people to come online and stay online for work, school, and community,” said A4AI executive director, Sonia Jorge.
“A4AI will continue its price benchmarking work in collaboration with the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to collect the affordability of 1GB, 2GB, and 5GB mobile broadband and 5GB fixed broadband in over 200 countries, territories, and economies across the globe. These three price points – 1GB, 2GB, and 5GB – will form the bedrock of A4AI’s strategy for measuring affordability and setting targets for the future,” the body stated.
The body added that the affordability of 1GB of mobile broadband and the original ‘1 for 2’ target will continue to be an important part of A4AI’s strategy and is now being used as a reference point for the affordability of mobile broadband across income groups. “This is an important dynamic to keep in mind for countries like South Africa, which has reached the ‘1 for 2’ nationally with data cost at 1.4% of the average national income – but still remains out of reach for millions as the same cost represents nearly 12% of the average monthly income for the poorest 20% of South Africans,” it said.