Second Internet Diffusion Survey

Larry Press

OnTheInternet, Vol. 5, No. 6, November/December, 1999

 

For the second year, we asked attendees of the Internet Society Network Training Workshops for Countries in the Early Stages of Internet Internetworking to complete a questionnaire on the state of the Internet in their nations.  The questionnaire was based on a six dimensional framework developed by the Mosaic Group and used for their in-depth case studies.[1]  The framework[2] considers six dimensions of Internet development in a nation:

pervasiveness: a measure based on users per capita and the degree to which non-technicians are using the Internet.

geographic dispersion: a measure of the concentration of the Internet within a nation, from none or a single city to nationwide availability.

sectoral absorption: a measure of the degree of utilization of the Internet in the education, commercial, health care and public sectors.

connectivity infrastructure: a measure based on international and intranational backbone bandwidth, exchange points, and last-mile access methods.

organizational infrastructure: a measure based on the state of the ISP industry and market conditions.

sophistication of use: a measure characterizing usage from conventional to highly sophisticated and driving innovation.

Each dimension may assume five ordinal values from 0-4.  Table 1 summarizes the assessments of the state of the Internet as reported by 27 respondents in 24 nations.  These are reported without independent verification, but the respondents are all qualified by virtue of their membership in ISOC, being selected to attend the Workshop (the positions are quite competitive), and working on the Internet in their nations.

Note that for three nations we have two respondents.  In the case of Madagascar they were in agreement, but the assessments for Uganda and Georgia diverged.  We will conduct an informal Delphi study via email to reconcile their assessments, but there has not been time to do that yet.  (Ideally, we would have multiple, independent responses from each nation.  Any difference could then be reconciled in subsequent discussion).

The second part of the questionnaire focused on the factors determining the dimension values recorded in the first part.  Respondents were asked to state the most important factors in stimulating or constraining the progress of the Internet along the various dimensions.  Table 2 shows the factors they mentioned.[3]  It is interesting to note that many factors are seen as a stimulant in one nation and a constraint in another.  For example, Tunisia and Chile find their new telecommunication infrastructure an advantage, whereas most nations find poor telecommunication infrastructure a hindrance.  Some nations find the competitive market an advantage, whereas others are encumbered by monopoly or market restrictions in international connectivity, domestic connectivity or Internet provision and other value-added services.

Part three of the questionnaire asked the respondents to predict whether they felt a dimension value would remain the same or increase during the coming year.  As is apparent in Table 3, most are optimistic.

Since this was the second survey, we had the opportunity to make limited horizontal comparisons on the eight nations that were represented in both.  As table 4 shows, there was progress in several nations, but apparently not in Mauritius and Sri Lanka.  Again, with more time, we follow-up with the respondents to explain these ratings.  These differences will be ironed by email. 

The questionnaire needs some revision to eliminate ambiguity, but with the experience of these two surveys and respondent's suggestions, we are in a position to do that.  Having a stable community of respondents, representing each nation and participating over time, would be the optimal way to conduct this survey.  Such a global community of Internet trackers would take ownership of the questionnaire and its administration, and I would like to work toward that goal.  If you would be interested in representing your nation, let me know.


Table 1, Dimension Values for the Current Survey

 

 

Dimension

Country

P

GD

SA

CI

OI

SU

Armenia

3

1

1

2

2

2

Azerbaijan

2

2

2

1

2

3

Belarus

2

1

2

2

2

2

Bulgaria

3

4

2

1

2

2

Cameroon

3

2

1

1

3

2

Canada

4

4

4

3

3

3

Chile

3

2

2

3

4

2

Egypt

2

3

2

2

3

2

Estonia

4

4

3

3

4

4

France

4

4

3

2

4

3

Georgia

3

2

1

2

3

2

Georgia

2

2

1

2

3

2

India

2

3

1

1

3

3

Kenya

2

1

2

1

3

2

Madagascar

2

2

1

2

2

2

Madagascar

2

2

1

2

2

2

Mauritius

3

2

2

2

1

2

Mexico

3

3

2

2

3

3

Nepal

3

3

2

1

4

3

Sri Lanka

2

1

2

1

3

2

Tunisia

3

3

3

2

3

3

Turkmenistan

2

2

1

1

2

1

Uganda

2

1

2

1

3

2

Uganda

1

2

1

1

3

1

United Kingdom

3

4

3

3

4

3

Uzbekistan

2

2

2

1

2

1

Vietnam

2

3

1

1

2

2

 


Table 2.  Factors felt to stimulate or constrain the Internet

 

Factor

Stimulate

Constrain

Total

competitition

21

12

33

financial resources

 

32

32

telecommunication infrastructure

4

25

29

demand and awareness

18

6

24

human capital

6

11

17

PCs and software

3

9

12

multinational corporations

4

4

8

cultural concerns

1

6

7

technological progress

9

 

9

investment policy

4

4

8

security

 

5

5

government programs and incentives

4

 

4

social equity

1

3

4

improved markets and choice

3

 

3

lack of cooperation

 

3

3

gap between have and have not nations

 

2

2

international funding agencies

2

 

2

Investment policy

2

 

2

regional and global internet governance organizations

2

 

2

taxes on PCs and software

 

2

2

availability of wireless access

1

 

1

changes after the Soviet occupation

1

 

1

globalization

1

 

1

import of knowhow

1

 

1

lack of government policy

1

 

1

ministry of telecommunication

 

1

1

nearly a monoporducer market

 

1

1

no clear infrastructure vision

 

1

1

other networks (e.g., for banking or EDI)

1

 

1

strong university connectivity and use

1

 

1

limited non-English content

 

1

1

cost of logistics for deliveries

 

1

1

lack of payment system alternatives

 

1

1

cultural of charging for information

 

1

1

holistic, non-western attitudes toward information

 

1

1

 


Table 3, Predictions for Coming Year.  The (i) indicates a predicted increase, (s) remain the same and (?), not sure.

 

 

Dimension

Country

P

GD

SA

CI

OI

SU

Armenia

i

i

i

i

i

i

Azerbaijan

i

i

i

i

i

s

Belarus

s

s

s

s

s

s

Bulgaria

i

i

i

i

i

i

Cameroon

i

i

i

i

i

i

Canada

s

s

i

s

s

i

Chile

i

s

i

i

s

i

Egypt

i

i

i

i

i

i

Estonia

i

i

i

i

i

i

France

i

i

i

i

i

i

Georgia

i

i

i

i

?

i

Georgia

i

i

i

i

s

s

India

i

i

i

i

i

i

Kenya

i

i

i

?

i

i

Madagascar

i

s

s

i

i

?

Madagascar

i

i

?

i

i

i

Mauritius

i

i

i

i

?

i

Mexico

i

i

i

i

i

i

Nepal

i

s

i

s

i

s

Sri Lanka

i

i

i

i

?

i

Tunisia

i

i

i

i

i

i

Turkmenistan

i

i

s

i

i

s

Uganda

i

i

i

s

s

s

Uganda

i

i

i

s

s

s

United Kingdom

i

i

s

i

i

s

Uzbekistan

i

i

i

s

s

i

Vietnam

i

i

i

i

i

s

 


Table 4, Nations Rated in Both Surveys.  The (s) indicates the same person did evaluation.

 

Nation

Aug-Sep, 1998

 

Aug-Sep, 1999

 

P

GD

SA

CI

OI

SU

 

P

GD

SA

CI

OI

SU

Armenia

2

2

2

1

2

2

3

1

1

2

2

2

Cameroon

1

1

1

1

2

2

3

2

1

1

3

2

Chile (s)

3

2

2

2

3

2

3

2

2

3

4

2

India

1

3

1

1

1

2

2

3

1

1

3

3

Mauritius (s)

1

1

2

1

1

2

3

2

2

2

1

2

Sri Lanka

1

2

2

1

3

3

2

1

2

1

3

2

Tunisia (s)

1

2

2

1

3

3

3

3

3

2

3

3

Uganda

1

1

1

1

-

2

2

1

2

1

3

2

Uganda

1

1

1

1

-

2

1

2

1

1

3

1

 


Acknowledgments:  Thanks to Anthony Barbatto for his work on the database and the following who completed questionnaires on their nations:

 

Claudio

Araya

Guntis

Barzdins

Lamia

Chaffai Sghaier

Shantha

Dewsiri Fernando

Daniel

Dongmo

Mikhail

Doroshevich

Djamil

Gadkiev

Duc Minh

Hoang

Vadim

Isakov

Shyam

K. Agrawal

Tarek

Kamel

Daniel

Kaplan

Batyr

Karryev

Sandro

Karumidze

Mihkel

Kraav

Yann

Kwok

Alexandre

Leblanc St-Cyr

Colin

MacDonald

Veni

Markovski

Jacques

Muongang

Margaret

Nyambura Ndung'u

Eric

Nzita

K. S.

Raju

Zozime

Rakotondrazafy

Roland

Ramamonjiso

Grigori

Saghyan

George 

Valishvili

Lunghabo

Wire James

 

 



[1] See  http://www.agsd.com/gdiff/gdiff2/ for recent examples of case studies of India and China.

[2] For more detail on the framework and the results of prior surveys and case studies, see http://som.csudh.edu/cis/lpress/gdiff/.

[3] Some factors were mentioned several times within a questionnaire.