Latin America & the Caribbean
We are pleased to announce the launch of the Amy Mahan Research Fellowship Program to Assess the Impact of Public Access to ICTs.
In Latin America there is still a lack of universal access to telecommunications infrastructure in general and broadband in particuar. Some countries have chosen to develop national and local internet traffic through national access points (NAP) to keep prices down by avoiding international networks. However Venezuela has not yet taken the decision to install a NAP. APC research takes a look at the situation behind the deadlock.
In Peru companies like Claro or Telefónica ignore rules and regulations when the time comes to sign the contract with the end user. Moreover, they reserve the right to block certain types of internet traffic, like voice over internet, infringing on a principle referred to as “net neutrality”. In one of our latest investigations, APC analyses this principle and illustrates it with examples from both Peruvian legislation, as well as the practices of the telecommunications companies in the country.
The Andean region has some of the lowest fixed telephone line, mobile telephony and broadband penetration rates of all Latin America, the continent with the starkest economic disparities in the world. In the 90s, Andean countries adopted new liberalisation and privatisation policies in order to attain universal access. Almost 20 years later, these promises have not been fulfilled. APC studied each country through national reports in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela in order to understand this failure. As the State in countries like Venezuela and Ecuador has begun to play a more pro-active role, the research also analyses their effectiveness and the opportunities and challenges of this renewed involvement.
There aren’t that many options for the deaf in Venezuela, and those who do have full time employment often find it difficult to take time off for other activities like professional courses. But the Cisco Networking Academy found a way to train four men and two women who can not hear, on IT Essentials. This course, an initiative by APC member EsLaRed, was given in Venezuelan sign language and was a great success – not only to those who gained the new skills, but also to the project creators, who believe there is potential to apply the project in other communities worldwide.