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On ‘Building Broadband’

June 15, 2011  »  Broadband & ICT PolicyNo Comment

Bringing sustainable broadband to the masses requires a balance between the supply-side (providers) and the demand-side (consumers). The sixth chapter of a recent World Bank publication (Building Broadband: Strategies and Policies for the Developing World) has some wise points on how to increase broadband penetration in developing nations:
To induce investment in the network, consider:

  • encouraging competition by reducing regulatory demands
  • wireless service roll-out is aided by spectrum frequency policies
  • government support for national backbone construction
  • taking steps to reduce investment costs for the operator(s)

To raise citizen awareness about the benefits broadband can provide, consider:

  • digital literacy promotion
  • the distribution of low-cost devices and terminals
  • having government serve as an anchor tenant
  • developing local online content
  • incentives for businesses to adopt broadband (and ideally e-commerce)
  • customized policies to grow demand

These ideas are hardly novel concepts, but it never hurts to reinforce the roles of government and stakeholders.

Source: Yongsoo Kim, Tim Kelly, and Siddhartha Raja. Building Broadband: Strategies and Policies for the Developing World, Washington, D.C.: The World Bank, 2010. Accessed 15 June 2011. http://books.google.com/books?id=_ew13Y7w0FQC.