#InternetDay2022: connectivity for all

May 17 has been designated to reflect and make prospective of our connectivity, marking that as the World Telecommunications and Information Society Day, now Internet Day, on the occasion of the commemoration of the anniversary of the signing of the first Agreement International Telegraph and the International Telegraph Union (1865), antecedent of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU, 1932), a sectoral body of the UN.

In Mexico, since 2005, the Internet Mx Association (AIMx) calls for reflection on the advances, but also on the pending subjects to achieve the full adoption of connectivity among Mexicans.

In the presentation of his “18th Study on the Habits of Internet Users in Mexico, 2022” (https://tinyurl.com/2h34fvcc) developed by The Competitive Intelligence Unit, he reports that the number of Internet users amounts to 89.5 million during 2021, which rose 6.4% compared to 2020, a level of adoption slightly higher than three-quarters of the population aged six or older (75.7%).

From the supply side, this upward trajectory of connectivity access and adoption results mainly from operators’ investments in telecommunications infrastructure, notably cable companies.

On the demand side, its transversal essentiality in the most diverse social activities results in a high opportunity cost of doing without fixed and mobile connectivity, for the most varied productive, educational, cultural, informative, and entertainment activities, among many others.

Barriers to Universal Internet Access. Although in recent years access to connectivity has been accelerated and democratized at all socioeconomic levels (SES) and age segments, there is still a wide digital gap attributable to factors such as purchasing power, age, digital skills and price of service, among others.

The study reports that 88.5% of disconnected Mexicans belong to the lowest SES (D/E).

While in its segmentation by age groups, the lack of connectivity prevails in people aged 55 or over. Indeed, 42.9% of the non-internet user population is in this age range.

The latter evidences a second main cause of the persistent connectivity gap, the lack of digital skills, such that 35% of the total number of disconnected people attribute their condition to this reason. Another barrier to the full adoption of the Internet is prices, with 23% of cases, despite having recorded significant declines in the last decade.

Fixed and Mobile Internet Access. The AIMX report documents that 91.7% of Mexican Internet users connect to the Internet through a fixed telecommunications network, while a smaller but rapidly rising proportion does so through mobile networks (74.4%). There, the smartphone constitutes a fundamental element for the democratization of internet access, with 95.4% of use reported among connectivity devices.

In second place are computers (42.0%), for the first time they are followed by Smart TVs (22.8%) and, finally, tablets (15.8%).

These metrics show the progress, but also the barriers to be overcome. It still remains for this to be a reality for a quarter of Mexicans, a figure that is no less, of course. It is up to the whole of society, industry, government, academia, users, etc., to identify and undertake targeted actions to comply with the constitutional mandate of universal internet access in Mexico.

Twitter: @ernestopiedras

Ernest Stones

Managing Director of The Competitive Intelligence Unit

Competitive intelligence

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