Project 2: Japan v. Denmark on Internet Accessibility

Japan and Denmark are both high-income countries with relatively high standards of living. According to the World Bank, Japan has a gross national income (GNI) of $42,000 per capita and a life expectancy of 83 at birth. The GNI is slightly below the OECD average, but the life expectancy is two years higher. Denmark has a very high GNI of $61,310 per capita and a life expectancy of 80 at birth (1). The high numbers are comparable to those of the United States and other developed countries, which have access to many resources, including the internet.

Internet accessibility in Japan and Denmark have several similarities. Their economic and health care metrics show that they are accomplished countries, and internet accessibility is an aspect of similar merit. While their internet connections may be stable, Denmark seems to focus more on accessible internet, and Japan’s internet is much faster.

Denmark, for example, is “among the world’s leading nations in broadband penetration,” or the proportion of the population with access to high-speed internet (2). It ranks first among OECD countries, and likely the world, in penetration per 100 people. There are about 37.2 subscriptions to broadband networks per 100 people; because many households share the same subscription and this does not include 3G/mobile connection, the access to the internet in Denmark is much higher (3). It is fourth amongst OECD nations. Furthermore, Denmark’s prices for their internet seem to be quite affordable. They rank 2nd, 4th, and 5th for slower, medium, and high speed internet respectively. These are numbers in the first quintile of OECD countries (2).

internet
Internet access can be measured in many ways, including penetration in the market and average internet speed. Denmark and Japan have relatively high access to internet. Photo courtesy of thefederalist.com.

Japan lags slightly behind in penetration. Just over 2/3 of Japanese households have internet access, with 23.6 overall subscriptions to broadband networks per 100 people. These are middle-of-the-road statistics. However, there is not much Wi-Fi connection in Japan; there are just 29 hotspots per 100,000 people, resulting in a 29th rank of 30 OECD countries studied (4). On the other hand, the Berkman Center report cited 1st and 2nd rankings for many speed and price rankings, with all 12 rankings in the top quintile except one, median latency as measured by speedtest.net (2). This is consistent with accounts of travelers frustrated by the lack of Wi-Fi access in a country as technologically advanced as Japan (4).

Though Japan and Denmark are both advanced countries, they have different stories in terms of internet access for their people. Most Danish people have access to the internet, but the speed can vary. By contrast, the Japanese must rely on their own internet subscriptions to access the World Wide Web, but their connections are faster and cheaper. Both systems are quite developed; the differences between them show the differences in those developments.

Sources

  1. “Countries and Economies.” Data. The World Bank. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.
  2. “Next Generation Connectivity: A Review of Broadband Internet Transitions and Policy from around the World.” The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, Feb. 2010. Web. 23 Feb. 2016. <http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/sites/cyber.law.harvard.edu/files/Berkman_Center_Broadband_Final_Report_15Feb2010.pdf>.
  3. “Guide to Getting Online in Denmark.” BredbÃ¥ndsmatch.dk. Web. 23 Feb. 2016. <http://www.bredbaandsmatch.dk/english/>.
  4. “Internet Access in Japan.” Japan Guide. Web. 23 Feb. 2016. <http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2279.html>.
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