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ni Tariq Mohammed Harvard University Carlos Osorio Harvard University It would be ideal if the authorities work hand in hand with the private sector to implement an IT development plan CIO of Nicaraguan IT company Promises of greater access to IT are being used in generating support for political campaigns this demonstrates that IT is in the mind of the politicians Nicaraguan IT executive Country Profiles 252 Natural disasters political turmoil and economic woes have all had negative impacts not only on overall economic development in Nicaragua but also on the nation s Networked Readiness The Nicaraguan economy is largely dependent on global commodity markets The nation faces major development challenges including widespread poverty poor infrastructure and decaying health and educational systems Nicaragua ranks sixty ninth overall in Readiness for the Networked World As a Highly Indebted Poor Country nearly 30 percent of Nicaraguans live in poverty 1 which when added to high access costs and predominantly urban telephony coverage makes Internet access impossible for most of the population There have been a number of problems in reforming the telecommunications regulatory environment in Nicaragua Ranking in ICT Policy micro index 73 Consecutive attempts to privatize Empresa Nicaraguense de Telecomunicaciones ENITEL the state owned telecommunications company in 1996 1999 and 2000 were unsuccessful Partial privatization occurred in August 2001 when a consortium led by Swedish operator Telia bought a 40 percent stake This was accompanied by legal controversy that ignited political opposition In 1998 Hurricane Mitch caused an estimated US 12 million in damage to the country s already poor telecommunications infrastructure2 Ranking in Information Infrastructure micro index 69 Network access is very limited nationally Teledensity in Nicaragua is the lowest in Central America another factor that has hampered growth of the Internet There are eighteen operational ISPs with

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