Internet Penetration In Rural Areas Of Latin America

Internet penetration in Latin American countries is a topic commonly addressed. Yet, few studies have concentrated on how and when Latin American rural areas would enjoy Internet access. Most of the Internet connections in Latin American countries exist in the large cities and heavily populated areas. Even in these cities, there is not a wide Internet penetration but many public and private programs are working to accomplish massive Internet access. It cannot be forgotten, however, that a great number of individuals live in the rural areas of Latin America. These are the artisans, farmers, and micro-entrepreneurs the e-commerce scholars listed as some of the beneficiaries of the e-transactions. Inhabitants of the rural areas would never benefit from e-commerce if they cannot afford Internet connections. For the time being, wide Internet penetration in Latin American rural areas is not a fact. This is the conclusion of a 2003 OECD (Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development) report called “Providing Low-Cost Information Technology Access to Rural Communities in Developing Countries: what works? What pays?” (see link bellow). The report is a comprehensive study of the pitfalls of Internet access in the rural areas of developing countries (as most Latin American countries are). Among many issues addressed by the OECD report, four telling situations constitute the pitfalls for the expansion of Internet in rural areas of developing countries.

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