Global Commission on Internet Governance publishes paper from DIRSI researcher

How to Connect the Other Half: Evidence and Policy Insights from Household Surveys in Latin America by Hernán Galperín feed the discussion on how to connect the next billion in two ways. It firstly analize households surveys data to understand Internet diffussion patterns. Secondly it studies why do certain sectos remain unconnected: it estimate demand gap and enquire which are the reasons to people to continue out of line considering 4 possibilities: affordability, skills, relevance and availability.

Results show that nonadoption would be explained by demand-side factors as with supply-side factors. While many rural areas still lack adequate connectivity infrastructure, the large majority of nonusers in Latin America simply find Internet access either too expensive or irrelevant. Second, there is a large unmet demand for low-cost access services, particularly among households with school-age children. Third, gender gaps in Internet access remain significant. Fourth, language skills are an important obstacle for adoption, being indigenous languages speakers less connected than Spanish speakers. Last, the presence of school-age children in the household has a strong spillover effect on Internet use by adults, though the effect on residential access is much weaker due to cost factors. Then, the results suggest an opportunity to complement infrastructure-deployment initiatives and regulatory reforms with targeted programs aimed at addressing connectivity barriers related to demand factors. Among the proposed programs are incentives for the creation of online content and services in indigenous languages, kindergarten to grade 12 (K–12) school connectivity initiatives, and a residential access subsidy for low-income families tied to complementary investment in human capital by recipients.