Over 1,600 schools in rural areas of Colombia are to be connected to broadband Internet by mid-2013, Israeli business magazine Globes reported Tuesday.
Colombia’s Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications awarded a contract worth $18.5 million to Israeli company Gilat Satellite Networks to hook up 1,676 countryside educational establishments to broadband Internet.
The Colombian government aims to extend broadband Internet to 6,800 schools through the services of seven different companies.
Gilat chairman and CEO Amiram Levinberg said, “Gilat has been at the forefront of delivering communication services in Colombia for over a decade, and we are proud to be able to continue this important work and be a valid contributor to improving the lives of children across rural areas.”
Colombia’s Trade Minister Sergio Diaz-Granados announced Friday that Colombian and Israeli technical teams will carry out feasibility studies to lay the groundwork for a free trade agreement between the two nations.
Colombia’s top two cities, Bogota and Medellin, have been recognized for their momentum on the information super-highway; however, the countryside has been lagging behind.