In an effort to boost the Dominican Republic’s level of digitalisation to ensure the population’s access, adoption and continuity of digital services, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a US$115-million loan.
According to IDB, the project will finance investments to expand broadband infrastructure, including the expansion of backbone, aggregation and access networks in order to improve connectivity for the country’s citizens.
“The operation will include private sector participation and support the deployment of infrastructure in areas that would not be economically profitable on their own, thus ensuring resource optimisation. With this approach, both the public and the private sectors will contribute to reduce the digital gap and foster the sustainability of this type of infrastructure in the country,” the bank said.
It will also finance training on how to use equipment and technology with a gender perspective to help citizens develop their digital skills.
“Enhanced connectivity will reach some 108 municipalities that either lack or have only one wired Internet service network, benefiting more than two million people”
IDB said that these digital abilities will be crucial for the implementation and productive use of information and communication technologies (ICTs), benefiting some four million low-income people, with a strong emphasis on women.
Consequently, the project is expected to create over 33,000 jobs, boost productivity by 1.2 per cent, and gross domestic product by 1.46 per cent.
In addition, the IDB’s project will endorse moves to improve broadcasting services, paving the way for transitioning from analog to digital television and enhancing digital abilities and competencies.
“Enhanced connectivity will reach some 108 municipalities that either lack or have only one wired Internet service network, benefiting more than two million people. An additional 56 municipalities that are home to 8.1 million people will get improved broadcast services, including the implementation of digital TV,” IDB added.
The US $115-million IDB loan has a repayment period of 25 years, about six years grace period and an interest based on the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate.