Would broadband imply a higher ROI? Not necessarily. The margins for
rural service are always tight. Every incremental cost counts, including
the cost of a basic payphone set. Rural ROI is highly dependent on
willingness and ability to pay for services offered. Rural customers are
very price sensitive. Where broadband has a real chance in rural areas
is where it can best respond to price sensitivity for voice telephony -
e.g. voice over IP... hence the importance of the regulatory
environment... which can catalyse creative technical adaptations for the
rural market if convergence applications are enabled and not blocked by
regulation. Look at Ghana where ISPs or operators providing VOIP can get
pretty hefty fines.

Don Richardson

Edward Malloy <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:

> Don et al: Given the low cost and availability of new wireless access
> devices, plus the steady expansion (and underutilization) of the
> national backbone (often fiber) in many developing nations, is the real
> cost of extending voice and data telecom service to rural villages any
> higher for broadband than for narrow band? If as I suspect the cost
> differential is not all that much, wouldn't then broadband imply a
> higher return on investment. [I am assuming, of course an ideal
> regulatory environment described earlier ("market liberalization, open
> investment climate, good regulation (that supports universal access)."]

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