Broadband Development

© Arne Hoel/ World Bank

Broadband development supports all sectors, enhancing economic performance and helping to create high-skilled jobs. Improved broadband connectivity can facilitate economic integration and boost the standard of living. Increased broadband internet access is an important precondition for reducing the digital divide between emerging markets and the rest of the world.

IFC is a leading development financier in the broadband industry. IFC offers comprehensive support for the broadband ecosystem within emerging markets. We focus on wholesale and retail broadband connectivity projects that generate substantial development impact:

 

  • In wholesale broadband, we support national and regional backbone networks, backhaul networks, and urban rings. These networks are increasingly making use of fiber optic technologies, which offer greater capacity and better service quality than wireless and cable networks. We also invest in satellite and microwave backhaul technologies, often the only choice for connecting remote rural areas and small islands. We advocate for open-access broadband networks, as such networks promote competition between different providers and result in lower prices and better services for consumers.

 

  • In retail broadband, we engage with fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband providers in high-density urban areas and business districts. We also work with last-mile connectivity providers that deploy fixed wireless or fourth-generation mobile (4G) network technologies. These companies can provide affordable services in less densely populated areas and frontier markets.