Broadband Development

© Arne Hoel/ World Bank

Broadband supports virtually all economic sectors, improving their performance and creating high-skilled jobs. Increased broadband connectivity facilitates international economic integration and boosts standards of living. Inclusive access to the Internet also contributes to more resilient and productive small enterprises, as well as to more transparent public institutions.

IFC aims to continue being one of the leading development financiers in the emerging market broadband industry, supporting all aspects of the broadband ecosystem. As the sector rapidly grows and advances technologically, we focus on areas with more potential for sustainable and inclusive development impact:


  • Core elements of wholesale broadband infrastructure, such as national and regional backbones, backhaul networks, and urban rings. These are generally fiber optic networks, which deliver greater capacity and better service quality than wireless networks. Occasionally we also invest in alternative solutions such as satellite or microwave backhaul, which are more efficient to reach small island communities or remote rural areas, for example. IFC supports “open access” backbone networks, which accommodate all types of providers, thereby promoting competition and better telecommunications and Internet services.


  • In retail broadband services, we invest in fiber to the premises in high-density urban areas and business districts, and more affordable last-mile solutions such as fixed wireless or fourth-generation mobile (4G) in peri-urban areas and frontier markets.