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Haïti Priorise: Broadband, Koutroumpis

Description of Problem

Internet coverage in Haiti remains limited and expensive. Just four percent of households have access, and fewer than 1% of Haitians have mobile Internet. Some government processes that are digitized elsewhere are still done here in the old-fashioned way. This reduces opportunities for Haitians and slows down economic growth. Haiti could be richer with faster Internet and more digitization.

Solutions

  • Increase mobile broadband penetration to 50% in 5 years; install an undersea cable to support the increased traffic
  • Significant digitization of government processes

Summary Table of the BCR

Intervention Benefit in gourdes Cost in gourdes BCR
Increase mobile broadband penetration to 50% in 5 years and install an undersea cable to support the increased traffic 685 billion 56 billion 12.2
Significant digitization of government processes 558 billion 120 billion 4.7
Case Studies
Digitize the government to reduce property registration from 312 days to 11 days 14 billion 4 billion 3.6
Create a credit bureauto increase access to finance from 1.6% to 20% of MSMEs 7 billion 841 million 8.3
Digitize the government to reduce the days to start a business from 97 days to 12 days 3.7 billion 1.8 billion 2.0

Benefits, Costs and BCRs

Increase mobile broadband penetration

The author envisages increasing mobile broadband penetration to fifty percent in 5 years and installing an undersea cable to support the increased traffic.

Costs

Each kilometer of cable costs $90,000 (6.2 million gourdes). It would need to cover around 250kms, so the cable’s price is $22.5 million dollars (1.5 billion gourdes). 

The Internet transmission would cost an increasing amount each year, reaching $14 million (966 million gourdes) in 2021.

The total cost would be $841 million (56 billion gourdes).

Benefits

The increased connectivity, improved 3G/4G connection speeds, and lower prices will help start new businesses that digitize everyday activities, while individuals will be able to better monitor their business activities and interact with the government.

The increase in Internet speed is predicted to boost Haitian economic growth each year by 0.1 percent. By the year 2021 it means Haiti will be about 4 billion gourdes richer. 

More money will be made each year in earnings from internet connections – around 571 million gourdes in 2021.  

Significant digitization of government processes

Several case studies are examined, as examples of how government processes could be digitized:

  • Digitization of business registration
  • Digitization of property registration
  • Credit bureau.