ICT community access indicators agreed upon at the Regional Workshop 2003 (http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/mexico03/index.html)
Community connectivity policy has currently been implemented worldwide through universal access mechanisms involving community centres where the general public can use Internet and digital communication services. It is thus important to identify indicators capable of describing universal access and universal service in order to measure them and set targets in the context of ICT and national policy development.
The following minimum indicators should be available for universal service.
These data should generally be obtained from National Statistics Offices, which carry out periodical censuses and various surveys, in order to provide such figures and keep them up to date. If such data are not gathered, it is recommended that National Statistics Offices should include them in their censuses or surveys.
Universal access relates to the number of people in a country covered by information and communication technologies, to which end the necessary infrastructure is required for the provision of the various services which constitute these new technologies. Universal access may be guaranteed in various ways, one being through public Internet access centres.
Public Internet access centre
A public Internet access centre (PIAC) is a site, location, centre of instruction at which Internet access is made available to the public, on a full-time or part-time basis. This may include digital community centres, Internet cafés, libraries, education centres and other similar establishments, whenever they offer Internet access to the general public. All such centres should have at least one public computer for Internet access. It is very useful to classify centres by type, as illustrated by way of example in Figure 1. A further breakdown into private and governmental establishments is also necessary.
Digital community centre
A digital community centre (DCC) is a place where the public can access Internet services from terminal facilities placed at their disposal. A DCC should offer equitable, universal and affordable access.
Minimum requirements for a PIAC to be considered as a DCC:
• A minimum connection speed to the Internet service provider (ISP) of 64 Kbps per centre, with an acceptable amount of bandwidth available to users.
• At least one printer.
• Support and maintenance.
• Minimum opening hours per week: 20 hours.
Number of localities with PIACs
This is the number of localities with PIACs. This indicator should be given by number or range of inhabitants. Also, governmental and private PIACs should be identified, with both absolute and relative values. Figure 2 shows a typical example (case of Mexico), although each country may classify data according to its own specific characteristics and statistics.
Note: It is assumed that Internet access is available in all urban localities covered by private PIACs.
Telmex provides Internet access service in all urban localities (3 043).
This indicator measures the number of inhabitants who enjoy PIAC coverage as a proportion of the total population of the country. It is considered that when a locality has at least one PIAC then the entire population in the community will be covered by that PIAC.
Whereas the number of households with access to ICTs and ICT coverage reveal the number of potential users of the technologies, we have to count the actual number of users. This should be broken down according to the number of users utilizing the PIACs. The only reliable way of obtaining this information is through surveys carried out by National Statistics Offices or specialized companies.
Number of Internet users through PIACs
This is the number of people who use the Internet from PIACs, taking into account the technical records used in the different surveys. The data should at least show the age of the users and the frequency with which they use the service, for better international comparison.
The following data are suggested as an example:
Public Internet centre users:
Number of Internet users: 1 585 000
Percentage accessing Internet from public centres: 38%
Number of users accessing Internet from public centres: 602 300
1) Potential population = A potential DCC user is anyone of age 6 years or more.
2) Target population for DCC services = Potential population minus Number of non‑community Internet users.
3) Actual usage = Actual users/Target population for DCC services (an actual user being one who accesses Internet at least once a month).
4) Average DCC usage rate = Total DCC usage time/Total available DCC time.
5) DCC density in rural areas = (Number of DCCs in rural areas/Target population in rural areas) x 1 000 inhabitants.
6) DCC density in urban areas = (Number of DCCs in urban areas/Target population in urban areas) 1 000 inhabitants.