The Colombian government has announced plans to lower the price of internet and computers by 50% each year.
The country’s Minister for Information and Communications, Diego Molano, said the government wanted to ensure all citizens had access to technology,
It also wants to make Colombia a cheaper place for telemarketing firms to operate, generating more jobs in an emerging market.
Telemarketing jobs, which people often do from home, are a good source of employment for low-income people. In a new law announced Monday, President Juan Manuel Santos gave all people in the industry the same rights to social security and public health and security standards, even if they work from home.
The government is also going to train more people with the skills for telemarketing.
“We have launched a policy to encourage telemarketing using technology. We are going to train more people that can enter the market for this type of work,” Santos said.
The government’s goal is to increase internet coverage from 2.2 to 5 million households, and from 220 to 700 municipalities, within a year.
Santos said that at the end of four years 1,028 municipalities would be connected to the internet.
The focus on the telemarketing industry – work that multinational companies typically outsource to developing nations — comes as the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement is about to come into effect.