Internet Reality is relative to Geography

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We sometimes forget (ignore) that the global phenomenon we call the Internet is not a globally identical experience.    A recent study by sponsored by Juniper Network points out significant difference in how the Internet is viewed and how expectations very depending on one’s location.

Where you are makes a big difference

Internet Geography is a big part of Internet Reality

The report seems to highlight that when things are good we tend to expect more and when they are not so good we happy with what we can get our hands on.   “Consumers in emerging markets are significantly more satisfied with their networks than their counterparts in developed countries, a surprising result given that network speed and reliability tends to be better in developed countries.”

This reminds me of a time when I was working for a vendor selling network security solutions.  I was doing some customer calls in an African country.  I gave my very best sales pitch, describing in great detail the ominous security threats that we could protect their network against.  The prospect, after listening politely, then turned around to me and said something like “Our biggest security concern is people digging our copper cables out of the ground.  For us, network security is a big man with a big dog, if you have a better solution I would like to hear it.”

When discussing the Internet, whether pricing plans, possible regulation or other topics, it is important for us to keep in mind, that the wants, needs and challenges that Internet users have are not homogeneous.  Below are the Top Connectivity Goals from the report, the discrepancy between the markets holds a significant message.

Emerging Markets

  1. Information from other “smart” devices, for example home security notifications 59%
  2. Intelligent push notifications, for example proactive notifications about traffic or weather 58%
  3. Better access to online education and resources 58%

Developed Markets

  1. Intelligent push notifications, for example proactive notifications about traffic or weather 37%
  2. Managing other technologies from a mobile device, for example turning on a light 33%
  3. Access to more location based services 32%

Full Report can be found here… [Juniper]

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