(Photo: Compu 101)

Colombia has boosted its broadband connectivity almost a quarter, with now more than 5.5 million broadband connections in the country, according to a report by technology multinational company Cisco.

High-speed broadband connections are up more than 23.6%  in the first half of 2013, compared to the same period in 2012, read the “Broadband Barometer” report.

Colombia’s Vanguardia newspaper reported Colombia achieved a penetration in fixed high-speed connections of 5.2%, compared to other Latin American countries such as Brazil (6%), Argentina (8.2%) and Chile (11.8%).

Broadband for every Colombian

In the year 2000, about 877,000 people, or 2.21% of Colombia’s population of 39.68 million has access to the Internet.

By 2012, just over 22 million people or 48.98% of Colombia’s current population of 45.24 million had access.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos in September this year approved an additional $521 million in order to complete broadband connection for all 32 departments and reach the country’s most remote regions.

“It is a costly endeavor, a huge financial effort,” said Santos, “It is an investment close to a billon pesos ($521 million) but that is well worth it because we are bringing the technology to each and every municipality in the country.”

MORE: Govt approves funds that will provide broadband internet in all Colombia

High speed internet key to growth

The authors of the CISCO report also highlighted the importance of internet connectivity.

“High speed broadband is part of the essential infrastructure of the country and represents a transformational opportunity to promote economic growth and social cohesion,” a Cisco spokesman reported in Dinero magazine.

Internet access has been cited as on the keys to Colombia’s global competitiveness, by a specialist from the Inter-American Development bank.

MORE: Colombia could be hi-tech poster-child for post-conflict development: Inter-American Development Bank expert

Internet penetration in Colombia


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