THE BROADBAND EFFECT: ENHANCING MARKET-BASED SOLUTIONS FOR THE BASE OF THE PYRAMID

Over the past decade, information and communication technologies have created many new opportunities to include the BoP in economic value chains as customers, producers, entrepreneurs, or employees. A variety of private sector-led ICT initiatives involving the BoP, mostly in Asia and Africa, have achieved profitability while providing social and economic returns along the value chain. Such projects, often directly linked to income-generating activities for the BOP, have also demonstrated that this segment of the population is ready to pay for access to connectivity in general and broadband in particular.

In this context, the Inter-American Development Bank commissioned this study to understand how organizations can leverage broadband to better integrate the BoP in economic value chains. The objective is to show how the adoption of broadband communication technologies enhances productivity and competitiveness of market-based projects affecting the BoP in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This report analyzes 8 such cases in depth, highlighting their internal and external success factors, and draws key lessons for policymakers. The case studies will hopefully inspire companies and policymakers to replicate their models or more generally invest in broadband infrastructure, to help bridge the digital, social, and economic divide in Latin America and the Caribbean.