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ECLAC Proposes Parameters for Defining Broadband in Latin America

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26 October 2011|Press Release

Some factors considered were speed and user experience.

(25 October 2011) In order to guide public policies in the region, the ECLAC Regional Broadband Observatory (ORBA) proposed a number of parameters for connectivity, speed and user experience to define this Internet service.

The proposal was accepted by the representatives of the nine Latin American countries which participated in the fourth meeting of the Regional Dialogue on Broadband which took place on 21 October at ECLAC headquarters in Santiago, Chile.

National broadband policymakers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay attended the meeting.

According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), basic broadband should have a minimum download speed of 256 kilobytes per second (Kbps) and an upload speed of 128 Kbps in the two existing forms.

These include real wireline broadband (the effective speed which the user has access to) and wireless broadband from a radio transmitter (maximum speed which the radio transmitter can provide, the device which receives and sends electromagnetic waves).

A minimum download speed of 2 megabytes per second (Mbps) and 512 Kbps for the upload speed was set for the advanced broadband service -both real wireline and wireless from a radio transmitter point.

Finally, a minimum download speed of 10 megabytes (Mbps) and upload speed of 768 Kbps was set for the total broadband delivered by wired or wireless networks, which enables all applications available on the Internet to be accessed.

All of these services should give permanent connectivity (always on), that is to say, the users should not have to set up a connection each time they decide to exchange information.

This definition, which is in line with concepts used by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), does not have a binding or regulatory nature, but rather it seeks to become a reference for defining more precisely the goals and objectives of policies on broadband universalization in the countries of the region.

The Regional Dialogue on Broadband also concluded that there is a need to encourage greater Internet traffic exchange in the region. This involves encouraging the interconnection of Internet service providers (ISP) and setting up traffic exchange points.

At the same time, it was also agreed to lower the costs of deploying broadband infrastructure by making more efficient use of installations for other services, such as electricity and gas, and in roads. In addition, they agreed to encourage the generation of local content and attract the storage of content in the region.

The Regional Dialogue on Broadband, an ECLAC and Government of Chile initiative, aims to lower the prices of this service in the region in order to enable greater digital inclusion. The first meeting of the Regional Dialogue on Broadband took place in August 2010 in Santiago in Chile.

In November 2010, during the second meeting, the countries involved in this initiative asked ECLAC to create the Regional Broadband Observatory. Its objective is to provide the countries with the elements to develop public policies which enable the costs of the service to be lowered.

Any queries should be addressed to the ECLAC Public Information and Web Services Section. E-mail:; Telephone: (56 2) 210 2040.

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