The Dominican Republic It’s the second biggest island in the Caribbean with 10.77 million people (2017). According to the last census, Wealth in D.R. is distributed across 4 social classes: high class 6%, middle-high class 17%, middle class 20%, Low class 47% and indigence 10%. This means that more than half the population (57%) live below human standards.
Nowadays, the Internet is embedded in our society and, it seems that it doesn't matter how much you earn, everyone appears to need a source of connection to the internet. But, internet plans are expensive and, in the Dominican Republic, you don't find any open Wi-Fi connections.
Claro, which is the biggest telecommunications company in the Dominican Republic, detected a business opportunity by creating an inexpensive internet plan, so their team design an Internet Plan with a download speed of 512kbps for a $5.99 USD a month contract.
Our first impression was that 512kbps seems to be ridiculously slow, today's websites demand a higher bandwidth speed to make the easiest tasks.
We observed cultural behavior and noticed that low-class users, despite their income, were socially influenced by the internet. The Internet has a huge impact on how they see entertainment and education.
"We want to improve people's lives, not slow them down"
But a slow cheap internet connection is better than nothing, right?
Top products they use:
We also found out that 76% of users do not have internet in their homes or smartphones. So, how do they use the internet at all?
Well, in low-class communities there are a few businesses called Cyber Internets, they are business that rent the internet and charge users per minutes of usage. It’s usually filled with game consoles, TV’s and computers, and the price per hour of the internet may vary from $0.30 USD to $0.50USD per hour depending if you're renting a console or just a computer.
And yes, they are paying a rent per hour to play online video games.
Considering that the average speed on the Cyber Internet is 30mbps, is 512kbps enough?
We made a controlled experiment with 12 users and ask them to do the things they usually do on a computer but, without telling the users, we throttle the internet to 512kbps.
"512kbps is not enough, it will be better to keep using the Cyber Internets."
512kbps is the minimum speed for the internet to do something. And is a frustrating experience in a world that goes at the speed of light”
Because of the "Cyber Internets" experience, their mental model demands a higher internet speed.
So, if 512 kbps is not enough, what will be enough? Let's enlist the most frequent websites the users visit and talk to the big brothers. What is the minimum speed for an optimal experience for them?
We were sad to find that these kids and young adults saw the internet as an entertainment tool. The Internet can be a powerful learning tool and even creates job opportunities.
The internet can be an opportunity for a better life. We should, not only bring a higher internet speed at an affordable price to our users but to repurpose its meaning in the head of our user.
"I want my children to succeed" -Parent Quote
"I want my children to have the education that I could not give to myself" -Parent Quote
"Internet is about doing the homework and entertainment" -Parent Quote
I believe that the internet can change life for the better, the internet brings a window of opportunities, opportunities which everyone should be able to take, it’s a door of online education, earning opportunities and knowledge.
Let's do this. It was then time for the communication team to join us. These were the results:
We manage to convince Claro to lower the price of Mbps when the speed was below a certain point and we end up building an internet of 2mbps for $2USD, also, the communications team worked from our investigation and insights and build an ad campaign educating fathers and children about how the internet can be used to improve their lives:
It’s never too late to educate yourself, it’s never too late to learn a new skill and it's never too late to change your faith.
We receive a lot of positive feedback with the campaign and the internet plans ranking up the reputation of the brand. We educated more than 3 million users and we convert more than five hundred thousand sales.Go Back to: Work