Spotlight: The 2024 regional ICT agenda

Bnamericas Published: Tuesday, November 22, 2022
Spotlight: The 2024 regional ICT agenda

At the ministerial conference on the information society in Montevideo, Eclac member countries agreed on a digital agenda for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Objectives include infrastructure and connectivity, digital skills and competencies, governance and security, digital economy, digital inclusion and transformation of the State. During the conference last week, Latin American countries promised to increase 5G coverage, household internet penetration and speeds, among others.

A goal to increase the proportion of the population covered by 5G by 2024 is within reach. Several countries have launched 5G and new spectrum auctions are expected in the coming months. In 2020, 4.5% of the population had access to 5G.

As part of the goal, spectrum will be provided, “observing international standards and recommendations and taking into account the different levels of preparation of the countries,” according to the final conference declaration.

Mobile broadband download speeds should increase 30% to an average of 31Mbps and mobile broadband penetration to 78% in 2024 from 73% in 2020.

Fixed broadband penetration should rise to 70% compared to 66% in 2021 and download speed by 40% from the current 76Mbps.

The agenda involves "promoting policies and incentives to strengthen digital infrastructures and the physical integration of the countries of the region, especially through the deployment of fiber optics networks, the promotion of satellite connectivity, the establishment of internet traffic exchange points, the development of data centers and the adoption of version 6 of the internet protocol (IPv6).”

In addition, it is proposed to promote affordable and quality broadband connectivity, with emphasis on vulnerable, remote, border and semi-urban areas.

The agenda establishes that by 2024, half the countries must have the main transactional public services available online, while the number of companies engaged in e-commerce should increase 5% every two years. In 2018, only 30% of countries had public services available online and 20.5% of companies used e-commerce.

Signatories also promised to promote digital transformation in agriculture, health, industry, commerce, tourism and mobility.

About 40% of the population should gain basic digital skills and 10% advanced digital skills, compared to 5% in 2020.

And 20 of the 33 countries in the region should have a cybersecurity strategy. In 2020, 13 countries had one.

Digital cooperation is planned to improve through multi-stakeholder forums on internet governance, among others.

A regional digital market is planned and cross-border electronic commerce will be strengthened by reducing administrative barriers, streamlining regulations, improved postal and logistics services, and innovative digital payment services.

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