Islamabad, April 30, 2021: Pakistan ranks in the bottom quartile of the Inclusive Internet Index 2021, i.e. second lowest in Asia and lowest in South Asia regions. The index provides a rigorous benchmark of national-level internet inclusion in 120 countries, that cover almost 96 percent of the world’s population, across four categories i.e. Availability, Affordability, Relevance and Readiness. Unfortunately, Pakistan stands at 90th position in the ranking among the listed 120 countries from all over the world.
Bytes for All welcomes the overall work carried out by Inclusive Internet Index, however, expresses its deep concern over the deteriorating ranking of Pakistan in providing affordable, quality and real access of Internet to its citizens.
Current difficult times, when countries are battling with a horrific pandemic, Internet and internetworking technologies have proved to be one of the most important drivers of growth and development. B4A believes that universal and equitable access to the Internet should be the most urgent priority of any government, as Internet is the key tool for socio-economic development and for providing citizens access to education, health and other such services.
B4A has always strongly advocated for uninterrupted and unrestricted supply of Internet in all geographic areas of the country, especially, the mountain and coastal communities, merged districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and remote rural areas in Sindh and Balochistan, where the digital divide is causing a lot of harm and keeping the large populations under developed and socially fragmented.
We strongly urge the government to take immediate action that improves Internet quality in the country and put Universal Service Fund to its real intended use of providing access to the remote areas of the country, expanding the Internet coverage that will stir economic growth and political inclusion of the disconnected communities into the mainstream.