Costa Rica is planning to provide computers and a fixed internet connection for 140,000 household, as part of the “Hogares Conectados” (Connected Homes) program of the National Telecommunications Fund (Fonatel), managed by the Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones (Sutel) – Superintendency of Telecommunications.
The program consists of providing a 2 Mbps connection and the promise to deliver computers with Internet access to 140,000 families living in poverty within six years.
According to the results of the latest Encuesta Nacional de Hogares (Enaho) – National Household Survey, published last July, only 19% of the poorest households in the country have a computer.
Hogares Conectados will help 14,000 families this year, with the other 126,000 by 2017. The investment over next two years will be US$128 million.
Beneficiaries partially cover the cost of computers and Internet bills. The monthly fee to be provided for the whole package over three years, will be of ¢3.363, ¢6,725 or ¢10,088, depending on their economic capacity.
Internet operators across the country, that includes ICE, Tigo, Coopeguanacaste, Cabletica, Telecable, Coopesantos and Cooopelesca, will be responsible for providing the service. For this, the IMAS will supply them with a database of families applying for aid.