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Investing in Broadband Infrastructure for Economic Stimulus and Growth

Begins:   Jun 22, 2009 09:00
Ends:   Jun 22, 2009 11:00

Date/time: June 22, 2009, 9:00 am - 11:00 am. Washington DC time (GMT - 4 hours)

As part of their response to the ongoing crisis, many countries are implementing economic stimulus packages. Public support to the build out of broadband infrastructure figures in many of these packages. What is the rationale for such support? How can it be implemented to support and enlarge private investment? What are the outcomes of such stimulus in terms of jobs and economic growth?
To discuss these issues, the Global Information and Communication Technologies (GICT) Department of the World Bank organized a Global Dialogue panel discussion on the role of broadband as both a short-term stimulus and a driver of long-term growth in the context.

Public support can help rollout next generation ICT networks and provide short-term stimulus while laying the foundation for long-term growth. Broadband networks can support long-term innovation-led economic growth. Recent research by the World Bank finds that for every 10 percentage-point increase in the penetration of broadband services, developing countries can see an increase in economic growth of 1.3 percentage points.

Such broadband stimulus can help Eastern Europe catch up with the EU-15 countries in broadband penetration and realize such growth opportunities. One estimate suggests that two-thirds of broadband subscribers globally are in developed countries. Broadband subscription rates in the Euro area countries, for instance, are significantly higher than that in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

These investments should be within the context of a broader ICT sector development strategy. State investment should accompany market reforms or be framed within the context of a level competitive playing field. These investments should also “crowd in” and not “crowd out” the private sector. Put another way, state aid should not compromise the level competitive playing field for all service providers or serve as a way to increase the role of the state in service provision. This event will discuss the transparent and competitively neutral implementation mechanisms that Eastern Europe’s economies can consider as they design and execute such programs.

Workshop Materials.

Recorded webcast is available here (scroll down to the bottom)

Informal summary/live blogging by Florian Sturm on Blog

Twitter coverage


Cristobal Guzman, Senior Telecommunications Specialist, Ministry of Industry, Turism and Commerce, Spain    download presentation

Russian Translation of Avanza Plan   download presentation


Taylor Reynolds, Economist, OECD    download presentation 

Russian Translation of Taylor Reynolds' presentation   download presentation 


Juan Navas-Sabater, Sr Telecommunications Specialist, World Bank    download presentation 

Russian Translation of Juan Navas-Sabater's presentation    download presentation 


Background note with agenda

Speaker Profiles 


Background Materials.

Broadband Infrastructure Investment in Stimulus Packages: Relevance for Developing Countries (paper by Christine Zhen-Wei Qiang, Global ICT Department, World Bank)

This note summarizes broadband initiatives of selected OECD countries recently launched during the economic downturn and argues that it is also relevant for developing countries as part of their economic recovery plans or of overall development strategies. It then presents several principles for policy makers in developing countries to reflect on when considering public investment in broadband.

PDF Download publication


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