The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean, has approved a $100 million loan for a programme to promote internet access and digitization in Argentina.
The Programme for the Development of the Federal Fibre Optic Network (REFEFO) will finance the expansion and equipping of infrastructure to connect 258 localities in remote areas with fibre optics, potentially benefiting 923,000 residents. It will also enhance international connectivity infrastructure to boost digitization quality, lower prices and provide regional digital integration.
The programme also aims to improve service by funding the purchase and updating of storage and information processing equipment at the National Data Centre of the Argentine Satellite Solutions Company (ARSAT).
In addition, there will be financing of online training programmes for officials and public employees responsible for digital inclusion, and training programmes for citizens in connected areas. Both initiatives will have a gender focus, encouraging the participation of women in training.
This operation is aligned with Vision 2025 – Reinvesting in the Americas: A Decade of Opportunities, created by the IDB to achieve recovery and inclusive growth in Latin America and the Caribbean in the areas of gender and inclusion and climate change, two of the Bank’s main priorities.
Meanwhile Argentina’s communications and media regulator (ENACOM), its Ministry of Education, and its National University Council (CIN) have jointly agreed to implement a programme to provide and guarantee connectivity in university education centres throughout the country with an investment of 1,000 million pesos (about $10.07 million).
The programme will include the deployment of Wi-Fi 6 within the country’s 58 National Universities. ENACOM president Claudio Ambrosini pointed out that the pandemic has driven the need to serve needs virtually and thus access to networks has become a priority.