The Asia-Pacific is seeing a huge broadband divide, a report at ITU Telecom Asia 2008 has revealed.
It said there was too much broadband in some countries and not enough in others.
Broadband is widely considered an important contributor to economic and social development. It is recommended that developing Asia-Pacific countries provide operation licences for broadband Internet, including third generation (3G), WiMax and other wireless broadband, in order to bridge the divide.
The report said the region on the whole was divided into two main groups: high-income economies with too much broadband and low-income economies with too little broadband.
High-income economies are awash in gigabits, where every one in four persons is a broadband subscriber, while in low-income economies broadband penetration is close to zero.
"The low speed of Internet connection in rich countries is still much faster than high-speed Internet connection in poor countries," said the report.
High-income economies like South Korea, Hong Kong, China, and Japan have launched 3G networks. As of the end of last year, there were more than 120 million wireless-broadband subscribers, with about 97 per cent in those economies.
"In China, there are about 66.5 million broadband subscribers. This figure is over half of total broadband subscribers in the whole Asia-Pacific region," the report said.
Moreover, in high-income countries people now enjoy new broadband services like triple-play (voice-data-video), Voice over Internet Protocol and Internet Protocol Television.
Broadband penetration is 0.3 per cent in low-income economies.
Information and Communications Technology Minister Mun Patanotai yesterday said Thailand was expected to award the 3G mobile broadband spectrum licences by early next year. The National Telecommunications Commission is holding a public hearing on the draft of licensing the spectrum for offering a 3G service.