Castries, Saint Lucia, September 26th, 2016– A study on “The Impact of Broadband on Economic Growth in ECTEL Member States” indicates that an increase in the broadband penetration rate of 1%, would lead to an increase in real economic growth of 0.076%. The findings according to the report, applies to all ECTEL Member States as a single group.
The study which was commissioned by the Eastern Caribbean Telecommunications Authority (ECTEL) under the CARCIP project was the first attempt to empirically test the economic impact of broadband penetration in the five ECTEL Member States. The CARCIP programme is funded by the World Bank and aims to leverage Information and Communications Technology (ICT) throughout the region.
The results of the CARCIP/World Bank funded study, show a positive linear correlation between averaged real economic output and broadband penetration rate for each ECTEL Member State, for the period 2012-2014. St. Kitts and Nevis stands out from among the other Member States indicating in part the varying levels of investment per capita in broadband technology among ECTEL Member States.
The empirical evidence from this study means that Governments can now strategically prioritize the communication sector and proceed quickly to modernize the regulatory framework to “purposefully accelerate the delivery of broadband services and provide support for investment in broadband technology.”
The study concludes that the anticipated economic impact from such a move would definitely contribute towards the national effort of putting ECTEL Member States on a sustainable growth path. It was commissioned to quantify the extent to which investment in broadband technology and by extension broadband penetration would impact economic growth. An empirical economic model approach using data for the period 2012 to 2014 was adopted for this study.
According to CARCIP Project Officer, Winston George: “The study was conducted as part of the process to understand the social and economic factors which were inhibiting the increase in broadband uptake.”
The study was conducted by Consultant Curlan Gilchrist, Associate Professor, Department of Business and Management at St. George’s University, Grenada.