Challenges in the Growth of Fiber in Latin America and the Caribbean

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Sep 2023
In the period from 2016 to 2021, the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) reported a four-fold increase in the number of households passed by fiber to the home (FTTH) and a rise of 10 times the number of subscribers to this technology. Estimated penetration towards the end of 2021 was 27 percent (46 million households) and is expected to reach 60 percent by 2030, when coverage will achieve the natural ceiling expected for the region of 81 percent of households. Having adequate fiber infrastructure will be key to introducing new digital technology solutions and accompanying the growth of 5G as well as the evolution of Wi-Fi 6 and 7 capable of supporting high levels of traffic and low latencies. This technological transition is taking place amidst an evolution in the connectivity infrastructure value chain, with a trend towards the vertical disintegration of traditional internet providers and towards more specialized infrastructure management, with InfraCos, NetCos, and Cloud- Cos as the necessary neutral partners of the final service providers. This paper analyzes these topics, bearing in mind the impact of digital infrastructure deployment on the digital transformation of the region's countries.