Worst Performers in Internet Access: According to a report cited by Dawn, Pakistan ranks among the poorest performers in internet access and digital governance, despite the global trend towards digital advancement.
The report, titled 'Pakistan's Internet Landscape 2022', was released by the human rights and advocacy organization 'Bytes For All', and examines the link between information and communication technologies and human rights.
The report provides a detailed analysis of Pakistan's internet landscape and highlights its shortcomings regarding internet access and digital governance.
Despite making some progress in terms of overall governance and internet access, Pakistan continues to be one of the worst performers, according to a report cited by Dawn.
The report, released by 'Bytes For All', acknowledges that Pakistan has made some improvements in terms of internet access and overall governance, but still lags far behind other countries, even within Asia.
Approximately 15% of Pakistan's population still lacks access to internet and mobile or telecom services, despite a rise in internet penetration, the report said.
Furthermore, the report revealed that the remaining population suffers from slow internet speeds and inconsistency in service quality.
According to the report, Pakistan's poor performance in internet access and digital governance is compounded by factors such as a lack of inclusivity and digital literacy, as well as one of the largest global gender gaps in access.
Moreover, load shedding and blackouts resulting from the energy crisis and catastrophic floods make it challenging to stay online. In sum, the report paints a bleak picture of Pakistan's internet landscape.
Pakistan ranked last in Asia and 79th globally in terms of availability, affordability, relevance, and readiness of internet access, according to the report.
The report also revealed a significant gender gap in both internet and mobile phone access for females, which the report described as a "major issue" in Pakistan.
The Bytes for All report also noted that Pakistan's poor standing in terms of access for females was highlighted by the GSMA Mobile Gender Gap 2022 Report, but there has been a slight narrowing of the gap over time.
The report stated that Pakistan had the largest gender gap in mobile ownership among all the countries surveyed. Specifically, only half of women owned a mobile phone, compared to over 75% of men.
The report acknowledged that the federal and provincial governments in Pakistan introduced several online activities. Nonetheless, 'Digital Pakistan' was adversely affected by political turmoil, economic challenges, and climate crises, according to the Dawn report.