COLOMBIA BUSINESS NEWS – Colombia’s government has outlined an ambitious new Information Communication Technology (ICT) plan for the next four years, shortly after current President Juan Manuel Santos won a second term in office.
ICT minister Diego Molano has hailed the country’s 2010-14 ICT plan a success, saying that all 93 initiatives outlined in the plan had been implemented.
Some of Colombia’s most notable ICT achievements in the last four years have included expanding internet connections from 2.2mn to over 8.8mn, auctioning spectrum for 4G services, expanding the country’s national fiber optic network, installing thousands of public internet centers and providing laptops and tablets to school children.
MinTIC is showing no signs of slowing down in Santos’ second term, outlining plans to triple internet connections from 8.8mn in 2014 to 27mn in 2018, which would give Colombia similar levels of internet penetration to countries such as Belgium and Italy, the ICT ministry said in a release.
The plan aims to boost internet penetration to 63% of households and 70% of microenterprises by 2018.
The ministry is also aiming to ensure that 4G services and free public Wi-Fi hotspots are available in every municipality in the country within the next four years.
In addition, Mintic has set the goal of increasing average broadband speeds from 1Mbps to 4Mbps by 2018, the release added.
The government will continue working to strengthen the Information Technology (IT) sector in the next four years, aiming to double the number of companies in the sector to 3,600 between 2013 and 2018.
It has also set the goal of tripling IT sector revenues to 19.6tn pesos (US$10.4 billion dollars) by 2018, as well as tripling IT employees to 84,000 in that time, according to the release.
MinTIC Colombia will provide subsidies for low-income families to purchase personal computers (PC’s) or tablets, and expects to maintain the lowest price for PCs throughout the region.
The government will also provide computers for 350,000 teachers during the next four years, and expects to reduce the number of children per computer or tablet device in schools from four in 2014 to one in 2018.
The government plans to implement a national cyber security strategy during the next four years, and is set to review measures to protect data privacy, update net neutrality measures and review the impact of cloud applications, among other issues.
On the telecoms side, MinTIC will also review interconnection rates and update service quality standards, according to the release.
Source: Business America