Case Study: Community Wide Digital Inclusion, San Luis, Argentina
The Argentine province of San Luis has been pursuing an ambitious 20-year goal: digital inclusion for its entire population. Leaders set goals to export more products with technological content, cultivate a dense network of Internet users, train more professionals in sciences and in engineering, and above all to broaden its base of workers who have completed secondary education and possess better skills in math, reading, writing, science, and information and communication technology (ICT).
To achieve its goals, the provincial government allocates 23 percent of its budget for education, science, and technology. It invests 50 percent in capital goods and infrastructure—all using local resources, without help from the national government or foreign loans. Strongly independent, the 420,000 inhabitants of San Luis—1 percent of the country’s population—get by with the equivalent of 1 percent of Argentina’s overall budget. Its unemployment rate is zero.
San Luis citizens enjoy a powerful incentive to purchase computers, with payment terms of 20 installments and a tax credit good for 50 percent of the cost. As a result, the number of households with PCs increased from 31 to 70 percent. By the end of 2010, the number of computer-owning households in San Luis Province is expected to reach 80 percent.
The province has built an Information Highway (IH), planned a fiber optic network, and established 20 radio links to provide broadband Internet and IP telephony to every town with a population of 20 or more residents. In 2003 San Luis inaugurated the centerpiece of the IH, its data center and primary network. WiFi connectivity is ubiquitous and free.
Read the full Community-Wide Digital Inclusion, San Luis, Argentina Case Study.