QCOSTARICA – Some 36,000 people from 14 indigenous territories in the South and Atlantic zones will benefit from broadband services and fixed and mobile telephony thanks to the Connected Communities Program.
In total, 56 communities will benefit, and telecommunications services will be available in 87 educational centers, as well as 32 health establishments.
The Connected Communities project, which began in September 2020, to bring internet and mobile phone service to indigenous peoples, reached the necessary agreements in the last weeks of February to build and operate the telecommunications towers. This was established in working sessions by the Integral Development Associations (ADI) of each territory in conjunction with representatives of the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE), the Superintendency of Telecommunications (SUTEL) and the National Telecommunications Fund (FONATEL), entities to management charge.
The project consists of the placement of 53 new towers and the retrofitting of seven existing towers, located in 14 indigenous territories in the southern and Caribbean area of the country, which will provide voice and internet service, as well as 3G and 4G cellular coverage.
So far, 35 signed agreements have been added.
The projects to bring internet and telephone services to these indigenous territories in the South and Atlantic zones are progressing according to the schedules and will be activated between July 2021 and December 2022. The economic investment for this project in the Atlantic zone is us$27 million, while in the South zone it is us$20 million.
By 2021, Connected Communities will activate these services in Talamanca Cabécar and Tayni (located in the Atlantic zone), as well as in Rey Curré and Salitre (in the South Zone).
For next year, the communities that will be part of the project are Kekoldi, Chirripó Duchi, Talamanca Bribri, Ujarrás, Salitre, Guaymi Altos de San Antonio, Bribri de Cabagra, Térraba, Abrojos de Montezuma and Guaymi Conte Burica.
Irene Cañas, executive president of ICE, said that “the Institute was the only operator that decided to participate in this project despite its difficulties, and we did so because solidarity is in our DNA. We are going to continue working with other institutions and communities. indigenous people to bring telephony and internet to these territories “.
“The telecommunications project developed for these territories benefits different generations, from children in their learning process to the elderly. This digital development helps to reduce the social gaps historically present in the territories, this undoubtedly brings well-being to these communities, which fills us with enthusiasm ”, said Randall Otárola, Vice Minister of the Presidency for Political Affairs and Citizen Dialogue.