Background work > Digital infrastructure


Policy makers must examine a range of indicators which reflect the status of individual broadband markets.

The OECD broadband portal provides access to a range of broadband-related statistics gathered by the OECD in five main categories:

  • Penetration (actual lines)
  • Usage (household and business ICT usage surveys)
  • Coverage and geography
  • Prices
  • Services and speeds

>> See also OECD key ICT indicators

Broadband policies for Latin America & the Caribbean

Broadband Policies for Latin America and the Caribbean: A Digital Economy Toolkit is a joint OECD/InterAmerican Development Bank endeavour that sheds light on good practices and case studies based on a whole-of-government approach. Its aim is to offer public authorities an overview of the policies, regulatory practices and options that can maximise the potential of broadband as a driver of economic and social development. The 15 chapters of the Toolkit cover a broad array of topics on policy making in relation to broadband development and use, from digital strategies, regulatory frameworks and spectrum management, to competition, access, affordability and taxation. In addition, there are chapters on education, skills and business uptake, as well as digital security and privacy.

>> Explore the toolkit online (also available in Spanish)

>> Get the book (also available in Spanish)

Digital Economy Outlook

The OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2017 examines and documents evolutions and emerging opportunities and challenges in the digital economy. It highlights how OECD countries and partner economies are taking advantage of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and the Internet to meet their public policy objectives. Through comparative evidence, it informs policy makers of regulatory practices and policy options to help maximise the potential of the digital economy as a driver for innovation and inclusive growth.

Digital Economy Papers

The evolving role of satellite networks in rural and remote broadband access

Satellites serve as an important option to deliver broadband services to residences and businesses in rural and remote regions throughout the world. In OECD countries, the majority of people live in urban areas or at locations that are closely settled enough to use other broadband access technologies on a cost effective basis. Satellite technology, however, is deploying several significant innovations that result in improved services and may radically change the costs of providing satellite broadband. The purpose of this report is to describe these key recent developments based upon new and anticipated satellite broadband deployments, and discuss their implications for the future use of satellites to deliver broadband services to residential and business users. It investigates how innovation is changing the role of satellites in extending broadband services to underserved areas in relation to other broadband options and important policy challenges to be considered in light of such innovation.

The Internet of Things: Seizing the Benefits and Addressing the Challenges

The Internet of Things represents the next step in convergence between ICTs and the economy on an unprecedented scale, with estimates indicating that 25 billion devices will be connected by 2020. Network connectivity, widespread sensor placement and sophisticated data analytics enable applications to aggregate and act on large amounts of data generated by devices in homes, work places and the natural world. This aggregated data can drive innovation, research and marketing, holding the promise to substantially contribute to further economic growth and social prosperity. However, the degree of adoption and ability to reap its benefits will largely depend on the capacity of governments to create adequate policy and regulatory frameworks in key areas including telecommunications, security, privacy and consumer policy. This report provides information on the opportunities and challenges around the Internet of Things and identifies areas for engagement and ease of deployment by all stakeholders.

Digital Convergence and Beyond: Innovation, Investment and Competition in Communication Policy and Regulation for the 21st Century

The digital convergence anticipated during the 2008 Seoul Ministerial has become a reality. Historically, communication services were delivered via single-purpose dedicated networks (e.g. telephone, television). Many OECD countries now function with converged networks, facilitated by the Internet Protocol (IP) in which “bits” are the building blocks for transmission of all content and service – all “applications.” This process of convergence is steadily deepening as technology evolves and more and more activity shifts online. In particular, technological, service and business innovations both at the core and at the edge of the network are significantly affecting competitors, investors and consumers. This report identifies trends in convergence, the opportunities and challenges arising from these changes and suggests policies to meet them.

Developments in International Mobile Roaming

In 2012 the OECD Council adopted on 16 February 2012 the Recommendation of the Council on International Mobile Roaming which provides a set of policy principles to ensure effective competition, consumer awareness and protection, and a fair price level in international mobile roaming services. The objective of this report released in 2016 was to provide an overview of progress made in the implementation of the Recommendation to determine whether any further action is necessary in this area.

>> More Digital Economy Papers