Date of Original Version

1-2007

Type

Article

Published In

IEEE Communications Magazine, Special Issue on New Directions in Networking Technologies in Emerging Economies, 45(1), January 2007, pp. 96-103

Rights Management

©2007 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from the IEEE

Abstract or Table of Contents

The digital divide is a pressing challenge for both technology and policy professionals. Connectivity is one aspect of the divide, albeit an important one. Availability and affordability remain important issues, but these depend on not only technology choices, but also business and regulatory models. While mobile phones have achieved spectacular growth in emerging regions, Internet access, especially broadband, lags far behind. A generalized model of costing broadband indicates that limited uplinking (interconnection) is a significant barrier to widespread and affordable connectivity, but last mile access also remains a challenge. In addition, policy distortions and regulations raise costs dramatically. Because of these, new technologies, business models, and regulations may be required to make connectivity available and affordable in emerging economies. These include advanced wireless technologies, greater fiber utilization, and open access networking.

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