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Broadband Penetration Rate: Reading beyond the indicator

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2 Author(s)
Luís Miguel Ferreira ; Departamento de Sistemas de Informação, Escola de Engenharia, Universidade do Minho, Guimarães, Portugal ; Luís Amaral

The flow of information in the current globalized world has been strongly enhanced by the rapid development of the Information and Communication Technologies. In a short time span, high speed Internet has become fundamental to modern economies, allowing access to increasingly comprehensive and sophisticated services; thus, it is important to monitor its progress. One of the most frequently used indicators in the international context to measure the Information Society progress, is the Broadband Penetration Rate. This indicator is often misused and limited to the discussion about the progress of countries and regions in terms of their integration in the Information Society. This article intends to present clear evidence that this is an indicator which, despite providing us with important signals regarding the spread of broadband, has several weaknesses, inevitably affecting the conclusions that can be drawn concerning concrete policies to effectively promote broadband. Consequently, the abusive tendency to solely use this indicator to measure the success or failure of policies that can promote the development of the Information Society originates simplistic and limited analyses and leads to erroneous conclusions.

Published in:

Information Systems and Technologies (CISTI), 2012 7th Iberian Conference on

Date of Conference:

20-23 June 2012