Broadband in Latin America

Beyond connectivity

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The policy analyses and proposals presented in this book focus on national programmes to foster universal broadband access and the debate on Internet neutrality. The study of the current trends highlights the progress of cloud computing and the new developments induced by the entrance of over-the-top operators in the Latin American and Caribbean region. This book underscores the need to expand regional and national Internet traffic exchange points (IXPs) and the relevance of the increasing demand gap, which poses new challenges beyond those related to access and connectivity.



The demand gap: drivers and public policies

The debate about the digital divide in Internet use and broadband has largely revolved around the statistics on households that own a computer and have adopted broadband (service penetration, in other words). Thus, political discussion and public opinion have turned on the need to increase take-up by expanding telecommunication network coverage. The underlying premise is that the digital divide would be narrowed if the issues holding up infrastructure investment were resolved. Without denying that there is some causal relationship between investment and the divide, it is important to stress that one of the fundamental variables accounting for the digital divide lies on the demand side rather than the supply side. The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the divide from this perspective, both in industrialized countries and in Latin America.


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