Grenada and St. Kitts & Nevis are the only ECTEL member states that have reached international standards for broadband affordability to date.
That’s according to ECTEL’s Director of Finance and Economics Cheryl Hector, who was speaking at the launch of a 2014 Broadband survey that was conducted by ECTEL Member States recently.
Hector notes that from the survey results, TV was the most popular ICT device used within the household and TV services were accessed mostly via digital or analog cable TV. Telephone coverage was relatively widespread among the member states, as less than 10% of household respondents indicated that they had no access to fixed or mobile telephone service.
The percentage of households with fixed internet access varied widely among the Member States with the most prevalent mode of access being via an ADSL modem. The main reasons cited for not having fixed internet access by those households were that the cost of access was too high and the fact that they could access the internet on their mobile phones. These households would be more inclined to sign up for fixed internet, if the monthly fee was more affordable.
Reliability and price remained the two most important factors considered, when households selected their internet service and very few households switched service provider, in the two previous years.
The Broadband Access and Use in the ECTEL Member States were two publications formally launched by the multi-state regulator, as activities to mark its 15th anniversary continue. The media launch in Kingstown, St. Vincent also saw the release of the annual Electronic Communications Sector Review.
The main highlights of the Review indicate investment in the sector topping $110 million, fixed broadband penetration up to 17%. The launch of 4G mobile broadband in all ECTEL Member States and local voice call volumes being recorded at 1.1 billion minutes.
Both the Broadband Access and Use in ECTEL Member States and the annual Electronic Communications Sector Review can be accessed on the ECTEL website at www.ectel.int.