Barbados has recorded yet another accolade, placing 1st among 26 Latin America & Caribbean (LAC) countries, according to a recent study published by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) titled, ‘Digital Gap in Latin America and the Caribbean: Annual Broadband Development Index Report’.
The Index, which started in 2011, was designed to measure the current status and development of broadband in the LAC in comparison with member countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It is based on four pillars – public policies and strategic vision, strategic regulation, infrastructure and applications and training.
Since 2018, Barbados has climbed 11 places to take the 31st position among 65 countries globally. Apart from the LAC countries, also included in the Index are member countries of the OECD such as Canada, Israel, Japan, Portugal and the USA.
Among the LAC countries, Barbados was followed by Chile, Costa Rica, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and the Bahamas, which had rankings of 33, 38, 39, 40, 42 and 43 respectively.
The report indicated that there were still some gaps across the LAC region relative to broadband penetration and 4G technology when compared with the OECD countries. It also noted that if these gaps were closed, LAC countries could dramatically increase employment and kickstart sustainable economic growth. This would also lead to the creation of over 15 million direct jobs, boost regional economic growth (GDP) by 7.7%, and increase productivity by 6.3%.
The five countries taking the five top spots in the Annual Broadband Development Index were Sweden followed by Denmark, Norway, Finland and Korea.