Colombia: The strategy of opening educational institutions as community internet access centres
, June 2009
The policy of opening public ICT access centres that operate within educational institutions presents an opportunity to expand access to broadband infrastructure, as observed by Olpa Paz, Mauricio Escobar and Paula Ospina.
In addition to the promotion of public access to ICTs, Colombia is also witnessing a growing trend towards the bundling of internet, cable television and fixed telephony services, as well as significant growth in internet service provision through mobile networks.
In the country’s main cities, operators have begun to focus on technological convergence in the products they offer. However, as the researchers stress, there are still serious gaps in the integration of rural and marginal urban areas in telecommunications networks as a tool for economic and social development.
They conclude that public policies should address such aspects as promoting broadband service in low-income areas, reducing the costs of infrastructure investment and operation, taking advantage of technological convergence to reach isolated sectors, and increasing demand through training in the use of ICTs for development objectives.