Estache A., Manacorda M., Valletti T. M., Galetovic A., Mueller B. (2002).

Telecommunication reforms, access regulation, and Internet adoption in Latin America. Economía, Volume 2, No. 2, pp. 153-217.



Latin America is betting on the potential “new economy” productivity payoffs from telecommunications reform. It wants fast improvements in the quantity and quality of its information and communications technology. The optimistic ten-year growth target issued by Chile’s Telecommunications Subsecretariat in mid-2000 for fixed line, mobile phone services, and Internet products is quite illustrative. By 2010, it expects fixed phone penetration to more than double, reaching 49 percent of the population, mobile penetration to triple to 60 percent, and Internet access to quadruple to about 50 percent. Similar statements made by key policymakers from Argentina to Mexico suggest that this optimism is shared throughout the region. The underlying assumptions are, first, that the liberalization of the sector has progressed enough to allow the countries of the region to make the most of cheaper technologies and the lower costs of access to web-enabled telecommunications technologies and services; second, that most policymakers expect that once supply has increased enough, demand will quickly follow thanks to the diffusion of the new technologies throughout the region, thus requiring very little input from the government beyond ensuring the liberalization of the telecommunications sector; and third, that this process should significantly contribute to closing the gaps between the poorest and the richest citizens across and within countries.