In urban areas, mobile broadband offers consumers a viable alternative to fixed-line broadband. Mobile broadband enhances the internet experience by enabling consumers to access the internet while on the move.
In rural areas, however, the mobile internet is not an alternative, but the only means consumers have to access the internet. The Digital Dividend is vital to providing this rural connectivity, and this in turn will help to bridge the ‘digital divide’ between technology haves and have-nots.
Policymakers have identified widespread internet access as a critical tool in social development. It has an essential role to play in improving health, wealth, education and social mobility. Bridging this Digital Divide will allow more people to fully engage with services such as e-governance, as well as enhancing inclusion, quality of life, community ethos, cultural understanding, education of citizens and informed democracy.
A substantial body of research has been built up regarding the economic benefits of mobile broadband, and regulators can use this to support their decision-making. The evidence shows that allocating harmonised Digital Dividend spectrum has a profound and positive effect on economies.