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Report: Latin America Lags In Internet Connectivity

Bad news for manufacturers hoping the Internet will open up new markets in Latin America: According to a report from Probe Research, depressed economies are holding back the countries of Latin America from connecting to the Internet, except for Chile and Brazil. The main problem, says Alan Mosher, an analyst with the Cedar Knolls, N.J., research firm, is affordability. "Consumers are unable to afford computers, and carriers hang on to high per-minute local call tariffs for dial-up connections," he says. "Consequently, connecting to the Internet can be an expensive proposition for the vast majority of households in Latin America." Mosher says Latin Americans are using Internet cafes and connections from work and school. But other alternatives also appear out of reach. Fixed wireless and satellite technology seem natural for Latin America's vast rural regions, but both are expensive and need a solid base of users to make them feasible.

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