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Peru Plans Expansive Broadband Network to Close Digital Gap

Peru plans to build a high-speed broadband network in remote countryside areas.

The expanded network is intended to provide internet access to as many as 737,000 people in more than 2,000 villages across the provinces of Cajamarca, Tumbes, Piura and Loreto.

The US$477 million project will be carried out by private firms under the country’s “Works-for-Taxes” program.

Launched in 2018, the Works-for-Taxes program allows private enterprises to carry out infrastructure projects instead of paying the taxes they owe to the government.

Peru has used the program to fund a wide range of infrastructure projects, including the creation of a national data center. In 2019, the program was used to subsidize the rollout of internet services by Cisco. Even the national e-government platform, which has made it simpler for residents to access government services online, such as renewing driver’s licenses and paying taxes, was funded by the works-for-taxes scheme.

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The broadband project involves deploying thousands of kilometers of fiber optics, giving high-speed internet access to 1,472 schools, 558 health centers and 133 police stations.

Once built, the network is expected to close the digital divide between cities and villages in the country, where the internet penetration rate is only 45.5% in rural areas, compared to 85.9% in urban areas.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

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