The ACCESS category includes metrics describing the physical architecture and operation of the Internet—how is the network functioning? how is it changing over time?—as well as those that describe the ability of individual users to gain physical access to the Internet—how much does access cost? at what speeds?

Physical access to the Internet lies at the base of Internet activity—it is necessary, but not sufficient, for meaningful participation in digital life. Policy considerations closely tied to this category revolve around how best to expand access to digital networks to more users, such as: which market structures and infrastructure policies are most successful and efficient at promoting the deployment of broadband infrastructure? How much should be invested in this infrastructure, and by which entities?

The Internet Monitor Access Index

Internet Monitor's Access Index aggregates 15 indicators to provide a rough single estimate of the quality of Internet access in countries for which we have collected enough data. We include measures of speed, cost, availability, and infrastructure in our scores, along with several indicators measuring literacy and education rates that attempt to round out the context of the score with additional information. A full explanation of how we collect, aggregate, and analyze this data is available here: A Hackable Access Index.

We monitor and report on three main facets of the Internet:

ACCESS: What does it take to get online? How much does it cost? How fast is the connection?

CONTROL: How is content regulated—blocked, taken down, hacked—online? To what extent? By whom?

ACTIVITY: What do people do online? What information do they access? What channels do they use to communicate?