Central America and El Salvador: The History of Telecommunication Services, Regulation, and the Digital Divide

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Guardado, Henry




This thesis examines how El Salvador has addressed the digital divide against its own aims and against those of other Central American countries—Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras. It does this by, first, exploring the historical development of telecommunication services in the region from the mid-1800s to 2013. Second, drawing on literature and data from each country, as well as the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and the World Bank, it evaluates how government policies have addressed the divide by examining the uptake of fixed-line, mobile phone, and internet services in the region. The evidence shows that sector liberalization in the region has yielded mixed results: while mobile phone services have expanded, fixed-line and internet services remain largely under-developed. Ultimately, this thesis finds that weak policymaking in El Salvador and the rest of the Central American countries—with the exception of Costa Rica—have led to unfulfilled universal service goals.


Mass Communications
Hispanic American Studies
Latin American History




Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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