Development 22 March 2015

Unleashing the Potential of the Internet for ASEAN Economies

Quick Summary

As the ASEAN Economic Community goes into effect this year, this report compares data on Internet connectivity, infrastructure and investment across 10 ASEAN economies and proposes broad and specific measures by which the region can, with the Internet’s help, create a single market and production base. It compares data on Internet connectivity, infrastructure and investment across 10 ASEAN economies and finds that Internet interconnectivity and interoperability of systems and platforms between and within countries are instrumental in driving the free flow of information, goods, services and investment across Southeast Asia.

You can find the executive summary of the report here.

Key Findings

Internet penetration

ASEAN, while diverse, can be clustered into three groups by Internet penetration rates

  • Above 60%: Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia
  • 25%-50%: Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam
  • 1%-20%: Indonesia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar
Wholesale and Retail Proces

In many economies, particularly in lower-income countries, the price of Internet connectivity costs remains high.

Mobile Phones and Wireless Devices

In all ASEAN countries the use of mobile phones has overtaken fixed lines, and as the cost of devices such as smartphones and tablets fall, there is a clear trend toward even greater usage of mobile devices to access the Internet

There are still significant gaps in national network coverage in several ASEAN countries that urgently need to be bridged if the Internet is going to be more universal.


The role of Wireless broadband is the growing means of Internet access for low and middle-income citizens of ASEAN economies.

Network capacity

In cases of market failure, governments can help bridge the gap between supply and pent-up demand until a sustainable virtuous cycle of Internet development has developed.


The lack of international bandwidth, along with anti-competitive market conditions for IXPs and ISPs, translate into unaffordable Internet access and poor speed in countries that need it the most.

Media Contact:

Wende Cover
[email protected]

  • Unleashing_the_Potential_of_the_Internet_for_ASEAN_Economies_pdf thumbnail Download
  • Unleashing_the_Potential_of_the_Internet_for_ASEAN_Economies_pdf thumbnail Download

Related articles

Growing the Internet 20 June 2018

Internet Crossing Borders: Boosting the Internet in Landlocked Developing Countries

Please note that this is NOT the full report, but the Executive Summary with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan Case Studies....

Development 2 February 2018

Report from the Field: Post-Hurricane Connectivity in the Caribbean

We ask our community to join with us to both #ReconnectTheCaribbean, and also to work to ensure the networks...

22 November 2017

Issue Paper, Asia-Pacific Bureau: Local and Localised Content

Building on the key considerations and guiding principles presented in the Internet Society Policy Brief on Local Content, this...