Edward Oughton, Mr. David Amaglobeli, and Mr. Mariano Moszoro
We develop a detailed model to evaluate the necessary investment requirements to achieve affordable universal broadband. The results indicate that approximately $418 billion needs to be mobilized to connect all unconnected citizens globally (targeting 40-50 GB/Month per user with 95 percent reliability). The bulk of additional investment is for emerging market economies (73 percent) and low-income developing countries (24 percent). We also find that if the data consumption level is lowered to 10-20 GB/Month per user, the total cost decreases by up to about half, whereas raising data consumption to 80-100 GB/Month per user leads to a cost increase of roughly 90 percent relative to the baseline. Moreover, a 40 percent cost decrease occurs when varying the peak hour quality of service level from the baseline 95 percent reliability, to only 50 percent reliability. To conclude, broadband policy assessments should be explicit about the quantity of data and the reliability of service provided to users. Failure to do so will lead to inaccurate estimates and, ultimately, to poor broadband policy decisions.