Broadband Can Help Low-Income Populations

Redacción: ConnectAmericas

There are many such cases around the world. In 2014, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), published The Broadband Effect: Enhancing Market-based Solutions for the Base of the Pyramid. The book, which was created by the consulting firm Hystra for the Opportunities for the Majority initiative, includes case studies and stresses the importance of this technology for creating opportunities for low-income populations in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Broadband helps commercially viable business models become more efficient in terms of access to goods and services and the development and delivery of these to the base of the pyramid in areas such as agriculture, health, education, and financial services. Some examples and success stories:

Although these cases are examples of the benefits of using broadband, the report also warns of the challenges this entails: in most cases, the greatest obstacle is the investment in infrastructure that is required.

The IDB defines broadband as connections with a minimum speed of 256 Kbps (a quarter of a megabyte). This minimum speed has direct implications on the type of services and applications that can be provided. The greater the bandwidth and speed, the greater the quality associated with the service.

Broadband adoption by companies that serve the base of the pyramid can help them to reach their objectives and serve users more efficiently and effectively. The cases highlighted in this study demonstrate that there are opportunities for those who are interested in leveraging connectivity for development.


Kayser, O.; Klarsfeld, L.; and Brossard, S. 2014. The Broadband Effect. Enhancing Market-based Solutions for the Base of the Pyramid. Hystra for Opportunities for the Majority, Inter-American Development Bank.