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FCC and USAID to Support Broadband Partnership of the Americas

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Released: April 17, 2012

NEWS
Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

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Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:

April 17, 2012


Neil Grace, 202-418-0506
neil.grace@fcc.gov

FCC and USAID to Support Broadband Partnership of the Americas

WASHINGTON D.C.

– President Obama called on countries of the Western Hemisphere to join the
United States in the new Broadband Partnership of the Americas (BPA). The President made the remarks
during his April 14, 2012 address at the Sixth Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia.
The BPA is supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) and is a voluntary and flexible framework through which
governments, the private sector, multilateral organizations and the donor community can join forces to
improve access to broadband and the Internet.
“The Broadband Partnership of the Americas provides participating countries with an opportunity to
harness the significant potential of broadband technology to meet pressing social challenges, drive
economic growth and create jobs throughout the region,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said.
While approximately 80 percent of the Latin American and Caribbean population have access to mobile
phones, broadband use is estimated at 29 percent, falling just below the global average. Enhancing
broadband access improves development outcomes, fosters economic development and increases
competitiveness. The Inter-American Development Bank reports that a 10 percent increase in the region’s
broadband subscriptions would boost gross domestic product (GDP) by 3.19 percent and increase
productivity by 2.6 percent.
“We are very excited about this rich partnering opportunity within our own hemisphere—where we can
mobilize public and private resources toward achieving more equitable access to broadband and the
Internet as a key contributor to development,” said Eric Postel, USAID’s Assistant Administrator for
Economic Growth, Agriculture, and Trade.
The financial and technical resources mobilized through the BPA will be used to help countries advance a
range of information technology initiatives, including:

Developing and implementing national broadband strategies;

Creating or upgrading universal service funds to finance the expansion of mobile and broadband
technologies to rural communities;

Improving international and regional connectivity by linking existing broadband networks;

Collaborating on a regional effort to harmonize the use of radio frequencies; and

Sharing best practices across the countries in the region.
The Broadband Partnership of the America’s Fact Sheet can be viewed at
http://transition.fcc.gov/ib/usaid_fact.pdf.

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