This paper aims to explore how the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) can leverage broadband, as a frontier emerging market, to diversify the economy and promote growth, job creation and productivity. The objective is to analyze the challenges and opportunities of the broadband market and propose policies to boost its development and achieve medium to long-term economic benefits.
The paper uses qualitative and quantitative tools to study the legal and regulatory environment, market structure, competitive dynamics and available services and infrastructure in the KRI. The data and information analyzed were obtained through field research, primary data collection and consultation with government institutions, telecom operators and IT companies.
Obstacles to broadband development in the KRI are barriers to competition, the need for clearer and more transparent policies and regulations and a fragmented market. However, when the right conditions are in place, KRI has the potential to emerge as a regional hub for international broadband connectivity and significantly expand local broadband access.
This paper presents a first-of-its-kind baseline analysis of the telecom sector in the KRI. Very little information is available on the KRI market, which also has not been previously studied separately from the Iraqi market. Based on the fieldwork, the paper relies on region-specific data to analyze the particularity of the market and identify reforms within the prerogative of the regional government.
A version of this paper and the fieldwork upon which it is based were conducted as part of a World Bank analytical work on the economic growth prospects of the KRI managed by Sibel Kulaksiz (Senior Economist, Macro Economics and Fiscal Management Global Practice); an executive summary of the diagnostic is available at: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/992661468195837755/Executive-summary
Haddad, M. and Rossotto, C. (2017), "Developing broadband in frontier markets: opportunities and challenges in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq", Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 126-138. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPRG-09-2016-0043Download as .RIS
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