Data Centers and Broadband for Sustainable Economic and Social Development: Evidence from Latin America and the Caribbean

May 2017
Information and communications technology (ICT) plays an important role in promoting and enabling social, economic, and environmental well-being worldwide. Data centers are essential for the development of the ICT ecosystem. The speed of networks, security of the critical infrastructure and information, and the quality of public services, data, and systems all depend on the availability and quality of data centers. Due to their vital role, the design and development of these centers is a priority for both private stakeholders and governments in Latin America and the Caribbean. This document discusses experiences in the region around key questions such as: Where should data centers be located? What are the public policy and regulatory implications? Who should pay for the infrastructure that supports them? What is the role of traditional telecommunications firms? How many data centers should a country have? How can policymakers promote the development of big data and Internet of Things (IoT)-based services and applications? It provides a detailed assessment of data centers and related infrastructure across 26 IDB borrowing member countries, drawing comparisons with other countries around the world.