Bolivia: Universal Broadband Access: Advances and challenges

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By Orlando D. Arratia (APC)
, June 2009

Orlando Arratia situates the problem in the extremely low ICT penetration rates in Bolivia and the lack of public policies to address the issue throughout many decades: only 1.23% of Bolivians own computers, 7.1% have fixed-line telephone service and 4% have access to the internet. Access to broadband internet is even more limited.

Rural and marginal urban areas are practically cut off from all communications services. At the current time, Arratia reports, advances are being made in the inclusion of ICT access in national public policies for development. The nationalisation of the telecommunications sector and the formulation of a national digital inclusion plan are underway.

Moreover, the new constitution introduces the principle of the universalisation of basic services, including telecommunications. However, he warns, it is still not clear how these proposals and advances will be materialised in a continually changing environment that poses serious political, technical and economic challenges.

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