Geneva – Developing countries risk missing out on the benefits of information technology because of their lack of broadband infrastructure, a UN agency said. Lack of broadband internet access deprives countries of the possibility of building up offshoring industries, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) said in a report. It also prevents people from tapping into all the advantages of mobile phones, whose use is exploding in poor countries. Companies and consumers are 200 times more likely to have access to broadband in developed countries than in the poorest Least Developed Countries (LDCs), the report shows. And the cost of broadband access varies widely – over $1,300 a month in Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic and Swaziland against less than $13 in Egypt or Tunisia. Broadband is essential for offshoring industries such as call centres and back offices, which many developing countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Asia want to develop and expand.Such industries are likely to expand despite the economic crisis because they enable companies in rich countries to cut costs, notes UNCTAD.