DESPITE various attempts to increase high-speed Internet service in Costa Rica, only 3% of the population has access to such a connection, the daily La Nación reported this week.
An average of three people use each of the 43,000 wide-band Internet connections available in the country, for a total of 130,000 users out of the 4.2 million population. Approximately 20,000 of these connections are the ADSL lines available from the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) since August 2004; the remaining 23,000 are cable modem lines, distributed since 1999 by Radiográfica Costarricense, S.A. (RACSA), the state telegram and Internet company.
Costa Rica has approximately 10 wide-band subscriptions for every 1,000 inhabitants; according to the International Telecommunications Network. In 2004, there were 248 connections per 1,000 inhabitants in South Korea, 127 in the United States and 59 in Chile. However, ICE figures show that Costa Rica’s high-speed Internet availability ranks it near the top in Latin America.
Wide-band Internet connections allow the user to access the Web 24 hours per day on a flat rate, and uses a dedicated line, eliminating the need to interrupt phone service while using the Internet. The connection also makes it easier to use resources such as video, make Internet phone calls and commercial transactions, and download large documents.
The United Nations has characterized high-speed connections as crucial for developing nations, La Nación reported.
Now, ADSL connections are available in 60 locations, 85% of which are within
the greater San José area.