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WireIE Benefits of Broadband Internet in the Caribbean

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Broadband is the key to experiencing
Internet services and the World Wide
Web. Put simply, broadband has
become an expectation of both businesses
and citizens around much of the globe. No
longer are narrowband connections, phone
lines and 56K modems being used to
connect to the Internet, explore the web,
and interact with others. Instead, many of
today’s Internet experiences are
designed with the expectation that users
will access thisrich content using
broadband.

This article examines the current state of Broadband in the Caribbean.

Published in: Technology, Business
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WireIE Benefits of Broadband Internet in the Caribbean

  1. 1. Benefits of Broadband Internet: Narrowing the Digital Divide in the Caribbean By Jennifer Marron Marketing & Communications Specialist WireIE Holdings International Inc. April 2010 The Broadband Internet Gap 1
  2. 2. Benefits of Broadband Internet: Narrowing the Digital Divide in the Caribbean By Jennifer Marron Marketing & Communications Specialist WireIE Holdings International Inc. B roadband is the key to experiencing Internet services and the World Wide Web as most of us in the developed world preventing residents of the Caribbean from enjoying a better quality of life. Many areas of the Caribbean are unable to access currently do. Put simply, broadband has broadband Internet, and so they are missing become an expectation of both businesses out on the enormous capabilities afforded and citizens around much of the globe. No by the World Wide Web. longer are narrowband connections, phone lines and 56K modems being used to Broadband Essential to Economy connect to the Internet, explore the web, It has also been proven that broadband and interact with others. Instead, many of access improves Gross Domestic Product today’s Internet experiences are designed with the expectation that users will access this rich content using broadband. Caribbean behind in Broadband Currently, much of the Caribbean is not capable of supporting the rich broadband experience the rest of us take for granted. Legacy networks and infrastructure are preventing the Caribbean from achieving its maximum potential for business. It is time to narrow the digital divide. This divide is a result of social and economic inequalities within and between various countries, and it is The Broadband Internet Gap 2
  3. 3. (GDP) of countries that use it. Both the become an adopted standard for all services quality of life and the economy of a region and applications on the web. improve when informed societies are able to Broadband also provides more networking use broadband Internet, as it enables capability than ‘traditional’ dial-up increased productivity and information connections. Wireless technologies can help sharing, among other benefits. to greatly reduce the infrastructure costs for One of the greatest and sparsely populated, rural, most obvious advantages or remote areas. A primary of broadband Internet is Broadband can benefit of broadband is its the sheer speed of the ability to expand economic technology. Broadband contribute hundreds opportunities and access is defined as an of billions of dollars a innovation, increase trade Internet connection that and productivity, reduce is capable of handling the year to the GDP of business costs, create jobs simultaneous developing countries and encourage foreign transmission of investment. sophisticated Recently, quantitative applications. These connections are research and empirical analysis have exponentially faster than dial-up or emerged to firmly establish the fact that narrowband connections, and in some cases broadband networks support GDP growth in can be up to 40 times as fast. This allows for developed nations and have the potential to a richer web experience. offer similar benefits in developing or Broadband networks, supported by the emerging markets. In short, broadband Internet Protocol (IP), have the capability to provides the ability to create wealth. transport any information or service we A study by The United Nations Conference usually associate with the web. Already, on Trade and Development called broadband networks are widely considered Information Economy Report 2006 found essential infrastructure for the global that broadband directly boosts information economy, providing businesses, competitiveness and productivity, and could students and consumers with fast, ‘always- contribute hundreds of billions of dollars a on’ access to Internet-based services, year to the GDP of developing countries in content and applications. upcoming years. According to the report, In fact, today’s web is designed around broadband has become so vital to broadband, which is needed in order to use companies, and society at large, that it is rich experiences such as Internet Protocol being compared to ‘essential’ utilities such Television (IPTV), high definition video, and as water and electricity. other multimedia resources. Today, IP has The Broadband Internet Gap 3
  4. 4. Furthermore, it has been shown that service exports through foreign affiliates. It countries with rudimentary offers regions the ability to boost economic telecommunications systems generally find opportunities through increased trade and themselves at a lower level of economic productivity, reduced costs, job creation, development. The report states, “Broadband and greater foreign investment. increases the capacity of enterprises to Of course, broadband also provides a better engage in more sophisticated e-business quality of life for people who can access it. processes and deliver through the Internet, Individuals have greater access to health thus maximizing the benefits of Information care and education through improved Communication Technologies (ICT’s)”. Internet access. Students are introduced to Broadband permits companies to engage in the technology necessary to succeed in the more sophisticated e-business processes, as global economy, today and in the future. well as delivering a greater range of products and services. Governments in the Caribbean need support to implement and harness broadband Caribbean needs Broadband to networks as essential infrastructure. compete globally Broadband networks bring more citizens and Broadband Internet businesses from rural and access will narrow the remote areas into the digital divide and enable formal economy of a Caribbean enterprises to Broadband will nation, and in fact, the world. Social issues such as become more improve living health and education gain competitive with the rest of the business world on standards in the a platform through broadband—for example, a global scale. Broadband Caribbean voices can be heard realizes the potential business productivity to through rich media such as be gained social media websites, blogs and online video. from e-commerce, improved retail efficiency through e-business web services, enhanced Broadband will also allow for the growth of a supply co-ordination and management sense of community, as regions of the efficiency, as well as the cost-saving benefits Caribbean that are now geographically of telecommuting, among others. remote or rural become exposed to technology. The spread of broadband Broadband also aids in accelerating networks allows for an informed society and productivity growth, which is essential for improves the quality of life for all, higher income and generating new economically and socially. employment opportunities, and boosting The Broadband Internet Gap 4
  5. 5. Without question, broadband will improve living standards in the Caribbean. New and efficient technologies have the capacity to facilitate changes in economic structures for the positive—economies of scale push infrastructure costs down. The Internet is the most empowering communication tool ever devised, and fortunately, the cost of broadband technologies continues to decrease. WireIE Solution Today, broadband connectivity can be provided to remote regions using a combination of backhaul and last-mile networks. WiMAX and Wi-Fi technologies can reach remote regions and can be rolled out faster than wired solutions, as well as offering portability and mobility. WireIE can add value to both carriers and governments. We offer turnkey solutions in the design, deployment and, where appropriate, management of public and private broadband networks. WireIE is a global leader in providing professional services and innovative solutions, including migrating legacy networks to the next generation, and creating new networks based on Next Generation broadband solutions. To comment on this article, please visit WireIE’s blog at http://www.wireie.com/blog. The Broadband Internet Gap 5
  6. 6. What can we do for you? At WireIE, we have the expertise to identify and understand your unique challenges. We have the knowledge, experience and resources to create, build, deploy and maintain the latest in wireless network solutions. We are the industry's brightest and best and we're prepared to ensure success in your Next Generation Network solution. Let's start the conversation. Rob Barlow President and CEO WireIE rob.barlow@wireie.com Tel: +1.905.882.4660 Fax: +1.905.882.0223 www.WireIE.com WireIE 35 Leek Crescent, Floor 2, Richmond Hill, Ontario CANADA L4B 4C2 Visit our Resource Centre to download our white papers and presentations: http://www.wireie.com/resources.php Join the dialogue on our blog: http://www.wireie.com/blog/ View our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/WireIE Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/WireIE The Broadband Internet Gap 6

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