In this World Bank blog post, Victor Mulas introduces the concept of “absorptive capacity” when speaking of the introduction or expansion of broadband services in developing regions. Generally absorptive capacity is defined as the ability of governments and people to utilize whatever level of broadband services they have available to the most efficient and universally-beneficial degree possible. He argues that even in places with advanced broadband capacities, there exists the possibility of counter-productive, or at the very least insufficient, use of the services, hence [the title of this article] why broadband does not always correlate directly to economic growth. For broadband to have the most benefit, implementation and expansion policies must be coupled with an additional focus on absorptive capacity.
Defining how to do so, however, could prove a bit more murky. What are some ways to ensure absorptive capacity is taken into account in relation to broadband access programs? What can and should governments or companies do to monitor it? Are there certain, clear-cut success markers that can be pointed to in places where absorptive capacity is at its highest? Determining how to judge a country’s absorptive capacity must first begin with an evaluation of what exactly we are looking for – in less general, more specific terms – and how best to go about achieving it.
Read the original post: http://blogs.worldbank.org/ic4d/why-broadband-does-not-always-have-an-impact-on-economic-growth