"The relationship between Local content, Internet Development and Access Prices"

Mr Taylor, Mr Kārkliņš and Mr Kummer (from the left)

Action Line C8 Cultural and Languistic Diversity, WSIS Forum 2012

Webcast  (Webcast is provided in REAL media Format)

UNESCO, OECD and ISOC organized a special session within the Action Line C8 Culture on economic aspects of local content creation and local infrastructure. The three institutional partners jointly commissioned a research project in 2011-2012 with an aim to understand, using statistical data and empirical analyses as well as seven case studies from seven different countries, the nature of the relationship between local content creation, the development of local Internet infrastructure and Internet access prices. The session at the WSIS Forum 2012 in Geneva dedicated to the launch of the research study.

More than 40 participants attended and remotely followed the discussion. The three partners believe that societies have a rich heritage and knowledge base that should be recognized, recorded and shared for the benefits of people throughout the world. However, much of the world’s content remains inaccessible even to the local population, not to mention at a broader level.

The speakers of the moderated session presented the major outcomes of the collaborative efforts showing that there is a strong correlation between the development of network infrastructure and the growth of local content, and more developed local Internet markets tend to report lower international prices for bandwidth and vice versa: markets with more intense international Internet traffic tend to report lower local prices.

The study finds that the three elements are inter-related and likely feed into each other in a virtuous circle: (i) better connectivity is significantly related to higher levels of local digital content creation. In essence, countries with more Internet infrastructure (at all income levels) are also the countries producing more local digital content as measured by Wikipedia entries and by web pages under a given country-code, top-level domain; (ii) countries with more international connectivity have lower domestic broadband prices and countries with more better domestic infrastructure have lower international bandwidth prices. The inter-linkages between the different elements lead to three key lines of policy considerations evolving out this research: (i) Fostering content development, (ii) Expanding connectivity, and (iii) Promoting Internet access competition.

Speakers and presentation

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