Connect Americas “Any country without some sort of broadband plan is in trouble”

03/08/2012


Investing in broadband infrastructure in the region is key for meeting the demand for Internet connections that will appear over the next three years as a result of the multiple uses that users will find for the network, said LACNIC’s Executive Director, Raúl Echeberría, at the Connect Americas Summit organized by the International Telecommunication Union which took place in Panama from 17 to 19 July.

Soon Latin America and the Caribbean will have more users, each of which will have more devices and unpredictable habits of use, which is why “the need for the public and private sectors to invest in infrastructure to be ready for that leap will increase,” Echeberría told a qualified audience during the panel titled “The Role of Governments in Broadband Development”.

LACNIC’s Executive Director warned those present that the Internet is growing faster and faster and exponentially. Gone are the predictions made five years ago about how the number of new users on the Internet would grow linearly. “Today there are 240 million users and in the next three years another 120 million will join them, each with more and more devices and unpredictable habits,” said Echeberría.

In Echeberría’s opinion, the key issue is the unpredictable nature of user habits. “It is impossible to predict how we are going to use the Internet five years from now. Five years ago Twitter didn’t exist and practically nobody used Facebook. Likewise, Youtube was just an experiment, while today 80% of all traffic corresponds to videos,” noted LACNIC’s Executive Director.

For this reason he urged public and private stakeholders at the Summit to devise connection strategies as soon as possible. “Any country without some sort of broadband plan is in trouble,” said Echeberría.

He offered all regional stakeholders the help of LACNIC’s collaborators to continue advancing towards building capacities that will promote broadband in Latin America and the Caribbean. This growth will not only allow connecting new users but it will also “reduce the divide and asymmetries between the different countries” of the region.