The Cities Net Opportunities Study

Many countries and cities around the globe have experienced growth and productivity as a result of information and communication technology (ICT), but many emerging markets have yet to fully realize technology adoption. The Cities Net Opportunities study was executed for Cisco to gain insights on internet use, as well as on current and future demand for online services in urban areas and emerging markets around the globe.

Download the whitepaper

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has already fueled growth and increased productivity in many countries and cities. As convergence around Internet networks gains momentum, the potential benefits expand rapidly in scope and magnitude … and the stakes rise: countries and cities that take advantage of this window of opportunity have a chance to accelerate growth and even leapfrog currently more advanced countries and cities; but laggards will be left further and further behind in terms of national and regional competitiveness.

The potential benefits of IP connectivity fall in two basic categories: (i) economic benefits include productivity gains (e.g., through reduced transaction costs, scalability and fast, reliable information flows) and innovation enabling (e.g., through online collaboration tools, wikis, etc.); and (ii) social benefits include: extensive access to education and other information resources; provision of government and health services on-line; expanded citizen participation; and a wider range of entertainment options.

Cities Net Opportunities is a study designed to gain insights on Internet use and on current and future demand for online services in urban areas in Emerging Markets. The baseline study was carried out in 2007 and a more limited follow-up was conducted in the summer of 2008 (to “take the pulse” a year later). The 2007 study consisted of two parallel surveys — for citizens and business — while in 2008 only citizens were surveyed. The study documents the stage of maturity in the use of the Internet in emerging market cities as well as the rapid pace at which Internet use is becoming a feature of everyday life. We hope this study contributes to the debate about how ICT and Internet can improve the standards of living of citizens and business in emerging markets.