Colombia’s government says it has reached its goal of 8.8 million Colombians with broadband internet connections early, reported Colombia’s El Espectador newspaper.
The 2010 goal of quadrupling the amount of Colombians with access to broadband Internet by the end of 2014 was reached early, according to a press release by the Ministry of Information Technology and Communication (TIC).
“Colombia will be the first country in Latin America to have high-speed internet connection in all of its municipalities.”
There are now 1,078 municipalities part of the fiber-optic network and the remaining 45 Colombian municipalities would receive broadband coverage by other technologies.
Connections for every municipality
The TIC Minister, Diego Molano, announced that by the end of the year “Colombia will be the first country in Latin America to have high-speed internet connection in all of its municipalities.” These sentiments were previously stated by Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos in November 2013.
These efforts comprise a part of the Live Digital Plan (Plan Vive Digital) was outlined in 2010 with the goal of decreasing poverty and increasing opportunities for people of a lower socioeconomic status through the broader coverage of internet and technology access, according to the Ministry of TIC.
Live Digital also constructs kiosks in communities with more than 100 residents that will allow citizens to access the internet and receive free training on how to use different facets of a computer and information technology. The goal is to have 3,500 kiosks built across the country by the end of 2014.
Subsidies for the poorest families
The ministry recently announced the subsidy of Internet by the government for 1,068,688 families of lower socioeconomic status. The grant is also a part of the TIC Ministry’s national Live Digital Plan, whose mission is to broaden internet access among Colombia’s poorest families in over 617 municipalities and 20 states.
Other initiatives of the Live Digital Plan, such as the distribution of more than 2,000,000 tablets and computers to schools across Colombia have proven to be difficult in rural areas due to electricity shortages, rendering many technologies effectively useless.