This article examines the ICT-for-development program implemented by the Mexican government during the early 2000s, the “National e-Mexico System.” It focuses on the connectivity component of the program, which created shared access to ICTs. Little is known about the beneficiaries’ perception of the Digital Community Centers (DCCs), or about the use they give to these tools. In order to obtain an assessment on the benefits to users of these centers, we conducted an exploratory survey in a sample of 23 DCCs. The results of our study indicate that this program has a positive, albeit limited, impact. Mostly, benefits reach young students by supporting their schoolwork and offering recreational activities. The fundamental weaknesses of the program reside in its limited scope, its lack of training, and the very low quality of broadband that is offered.
e-Mexico; IT programs; benefits; digital divide