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This document studies the case of the Telecommunications Investment Fund (FITEL), the Peruvian government agency that provides universal access to telecommunications in rural areas, privileging social concerns. The fund’s development during its 15 years in existence has meant going from mere infrastructure availability to projects implemented from a socio-technical perspective, where, in addition to availability of the technology, the use of the resource is promoted and an investment is made in future users through awareness-raising, training and development of content.
The placement of broadband in the fund’s mandate opens extensive possibilities to promote development through this technology. The fact that official technical definitions on broadband do not yet exist prevents technological expansion from occurring in ways similar to those found in urban areas. This is why the presence of civil society organisations is so critically important. One of the challenges is for Peruvian civil society to generate debate and design policies.
At the same time, the fund must be open to civil society to avoid its politicisation. A broad debate is still necessary on the type of universal access and the type of broadband needed for rural zones.