The Broadband Effect: Enhancing Market-based Solutions for the Base of the Pyramid (Executive Summary)
Broadband has a potential impact on the base of the pyramid (BOP), a segment of the population previously excluded from markets, and which lacks access to quality goods and services. Broadband facilitates the development of new business models that are more effective and efficient in terms of accessing, creating, and distributing goods and services to the BOP. A variety of private-sector-led broadband initiatives involving the BOP around the world have demonstrated profitability, while also providing social and economic returns along the value chain. Without the use of such technology, these solutions in some cases would not be available to this segment of the population. The Broadband Effect examines, at a global level, how companies that serve the BOP are deploying the use of broadband to improve the efficiency of their operations and better reach this market segment. This executive summary sheds light on these broadband-enabled BOP business models, the ecosystem in which they operate the benefits and challenges of broadband adoption, and the role of public policy and regulation. The business cases studies therein are sustainable models that directly target the BOP and are enhanced by the use of broadband- and Internet-enabled technologies. The case studies come from a variety of developing economies in different regions around the world, as well as from different sectors such as financial services, education, and health.