Thu, Aug 02, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan would rank 14th in UN’s ICT index: NCC

MISSED CALLS:The nation’s ICT usage dropped due to the National Development Council calling landlines, but it has been advised to call mobile phones to gather data

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan would rank No. 14 in the UN’s Information and Communications Technology Development Index for last year if it was included, up from No. 19 in 2016, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday, adding that the improvement was due to significant growth in Internet bandwidth.

The UN International Telecommunication Union calculated the index using data collected in 2016.

While Taiwan is not a member of the UN, the union would still send the government a questionnaire to help it research the development of information and communications technology (ICT) in the nation, the commission said.

The UN agency saves data gathered from governments worldwide in its database, which is used to compile the annual Measuring the Information Society Report, it added.

The report does not list Taiwan’s performance, the commission said, adding that it subscribes to the database to access the data.

The commission said it calculated the nation’s score and ostensible ranking in the index using the data and formulas stipulated by the union.

The UN agency creates the index of 176 countries based on three scores: ICT access rate, ICT users and ICT in relation to socioeconomic development, NCC spokesperson Wong Po-tsung (翁柏宗) said.

The commission is responsible for increasing ICT access and users, he said.

Taiwan was nominally ranked No. 3 in the world last year in ICT access rate, up from No. 5 in 2016, the commission said, adding that the nation’s fixed telephone line service penetration rate was 58.68 percent, down from 59.69 percent in 2016.

The mobile phone service penetration rate was 124.62 percent, down from 127.3 percent in 2016, the commission said, adding that Internet bandwidth averaged 717.567 kilobits per second (kpbs), up from 82.533 kbps.

The significant growth in Internet bandwidth resulted in an improved ranking in Internet access rate, which helped raise the nation’s would-be ranking in the index, Wong said.

The percentage of households that owned computers fell from 85.3 percent in 2016 to 83.1 percent last year, it said, adding that 82 percent of the nation’s households had Internet access, the same as in 2016.

However, the number of ICT users fell, dragging the nation’s ranking from No. 31 in 2016 to No. 35 last year, the commission said.

While the individual Internet usage rate rose from 78.04 percent to 79.75 percent, the fixed broadband service penetration rate declined from 24.26 percent to 24.23 percent, it said, adding that the mobile broadband service penetration rate rose from 80.2 percent to 92.85 percent.

ICT usage dropped because the National Development Council gathered data by calling household landlines, which inevitably resulted in many unanswered calls, Wong said.

The council has been advised that it should call mobile phones to gather more precise data, he said.

The fixed broadband service penetration rate fell because of increasing demand for mobile phone services, with many of the nation’s telecoms offering unlimited data plans, Wong said.

The commission would try to boost fixed broadband usage by increasing the number of corporate users, he said.

The mobile broadband service penetration rate could rise to 100 percent after the nation terminates 3G services at the end of this year, he added.

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