A research network on telecommunications policy is playing a significant role in influencing pro-poor ICT policies in Latin America. Research conducted by DIRSI (Regional Dialogue on the Information Society) has been critical in building knowledge and providing the evidence base for numerous policy reforms in the telecommunications sector in various countries in the region:
- DIRSI analyzed the Mexican government’s proposal to increase taxes on all telecommunication services and pinpointed a number of significant negative impacts. As a result of the ensuing debate, the tax increase was limited to only some telecommunication services;
- In Brazil, DIRSI research findings were taken up in the design of the National Broadband Plan, which stresses the importance of wireless network deployment by local operators in long-range frequencies;
- The publication Fast-tracking the digital revolution: Broadband for Latin America and the Caribbean estimated the price elasticity of demand for broadband services, a key input in the success of the national connectivity plans launched by various countries in the region;
- The study on price levels of broadband led to the development of the broadband performance index and further revealed that in Latin America, the quality of broadband service is low and the prices are high when benchmarked against the OECD countries and other regions;
- DIRSI’s research collaboration with the National Communications Commission of Argentina has contributed to the creation of a new instrument for the measurement of service quality, whose results have been used in the design of mobile service quality regulations as well as consumer protection policies;
- A number of DIRSI studies highlighted the positive socio-economic impact of ICTs, including the impact of Internet use in Peruvian households and the impact of Internet adoption on formal or high-quality employment in Uruguay.
Established in 2004, DIRSI’s mission is to create knowledge and stimulate discussion to support the development of policies that enable the effective participation of Latin America's poor and marginalized communities in emerging information societies and economies.
All DIRSI publications are available on its website.