Costa Rica to provide free Internet in bid to reduce the country’s digital divide

Costa Rica has launched an initiative called “Espacios Públicos Conectados” (Connected Public Spaces) to reduce the country’s digital divide through FONATEL, the National Telecommunications Fund.

The objective of this programme is to bring free Internet to 170 public spaces throughout the country (including in parks, plazas, public libraries, train stations, and civic centers). A dedicated optical fiber will provide these sites with high-speed Internet.

Humberto Pineda, General Director of FONATEL, said, “In Latin America there are some similar projects. The difference in… Costa Rica is that it is a long-term programme, with an integral model of sustainability that includes an ecosystem of development of telecommunications infrastructure [for] broadband, access [for] users to generate and produce content, and digital literacy [for] state institutions and inhabitants.”

The implementation of Espacios Públicos Conectados is predicted to take approximately two years. The programme is considered to be a first step in the creation of smart cities in Costa Rica by encouraging the digital development of communities through free Internet provision.

Source: The Costa Rica News