Selection Step 3b: Components of an Appropriate Last Mile Connectivity Solution

Affordability

As the focus of this Solutions Guide is to encourage last-mile connectivity solutions that deliver affordable Internet to unserved and underserved communities, designing potential solutions begins with identifying what price levels of service would be considered affordable. One approach would be to identify affordability thresholds of 2 per cent of monthly GDP per capita, as well as 5 per cent for sensitivity analysis, using national averages. A more granular approach would consider regional or local average income levels, which can be obtained from national statistical agencies. These affordability figures would then serve as a guidepost for determining which types of service would be deemed affordable, keeping in mind that the 2 per cent of monthly GDP per capita is for 1 GB of mobile data. (For the discussion of affordability thresholds, see the discussion of affordable service in the Introduction: Background, motivate and objectives) The focus on affordability (and on the other critical components highlighted in the selection model, particularly sustainability) emphasizes the importance of ensuring that members of the locality or community – the new service’s potential customers – play a role in determining how the new service is established. The process of designing the last-mile connectivity solution should include participatory multi-stakeholder mechanisms to surface and take into account a wide range of perspectives.