Broad Spur

Dec 05, 2009 (LBO) – Faster, cheaper broadband access, the scaling up of pilot e-projects and skills development should be top priorities for Sri Lanka’s ICT sector, says a new World Bank study. The World Bank launched its Information and Communications for Development 2009: Extending Reach and Increasing Impact report in Colombo on Friday.

Improving broadband access, the report says, could revolutionise economic growth in developing countries such as Sri Lanka.

“For every ten percentage point increase in the penetration of broadband services, there is a 1.3 percentage point increase in economic growth,” said Tenzin Dolma Norbhu, a World Bank ICT policy specialist.

The report estimates that fixed broadband subscribers made up 31.3 percent of total internet subscribers (in 2007), with international internet bandwidth at 118 bits/second/person.

Internet subscribers are estimated at 1 for every 100 people (in 2007), up from 0.2 in 2000.

Sri Lanka has begun an initiative to roll out a fibre optic backbone for broadband services, which will help improve access outside of Colombo and reduce costs significantly.

Rollout is expected to begin in the second quarter