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October 30, 2020

National broadband (NBB) plans in Argentina concentrate efforts in closing the digital gap in Latin America

By GlobalData Technology

GlobalData estimates that fixed-broadband penetration in North America (NA) region will reach 33% by the end of 2025, compared to 18% for Latin America (LATAM).

Essentially across the Americas NBB plans involve connecting extreme remote areas and a strong focus of developed markets seeking to achieve 100% ultra-fast country connectivity. Whereas developing economies across Latin America aim at connecting large unattended communities.

For instance, in 2020 the Argentinian government has launched a NBB plan that will benefit over 22 million people by 2023 and includes, amongst others, expanding fibre optic backbone network to reach 39.300 km by 2023 and a tenfold increase in broadband capacity.

The Americas region is characterized by significant differences in FBB penetration among North America and Latin America countries. North America countries, such as the US and Canada boast higher broadband penetration levels, in part supported by their higher PPP-GDP per capita.

Latin America countries with a lower PPP-adjusted GDP per capita, such as Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia have an interest to invest in their fixed infrastructure; however, due to the lower income levels there is less willingness and affordability to uptake FBB solutions.

This will affect the feasibility of the investment, here we can see the necessity of the governmental support and funds, to increase both the availability and affordability of these products in all the countries, with more competitive prices so a greater degree of the population can uptake.


The NBB project, Plan Conectar, planned total investments mount to $37.9 billion pesos (US$ 485 million) from which $13.2 billion (US$ 169 million) will be committed to the fibre optic federal network (REFEFO).

Investments include $3.7 billion pesos (US$ 47.3 million) to update and repair REFEFO, $1.9 billion pesos (US$ 23.7 million) and $7.7 billion pesos (US$ 97.9 million) to complete REFEFO stage 2 and 3 respectively. While key players for the project’s implementation encompass the national government, telcos, and infrastructure providers.

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