[SatNews] In collaboration with NEC Colombia, S.A., Spanish satellite communications operator HISPASAT has started to install the first digital kiosks awarded to them in bidding last December by the Colombian Ministry of Information and Communication Technology.
The temporary HISPASAT-NEC partnership was granted permission to install, operate and manage 648 digital kiosks in the country, as part of the second phase of the Kioscos Vive Digital Plan. The kiosks are spaces located in educational establishements and venues in rural and secluded areas without connectivity, thus enabling local inhabitants to benefit from telecommunications services such as satellite Internet access, domestic and international calling, digital literacy, e-government and more. HISPASAT and NEC Colombia will deploy this service in the Amazonas, Boyacá, Caldas, Cundinamarca, Guainía, Quindío, Risaralda and Vaupés departments. The first kiosks are now up and running in the Amazonas and Cundinamarca regions, and all kiosks will be operative by September.
Satellite technology constitutes a major step towards securing universal Internet access. HISPASAT’s satellite solution makes it possible to connect to the Internet, regardless of a user’s geographic location, simply by installing a small antenna. As a result, the advanced broadband services once limited to big cities are now able to reach rural areas as well. Satellites therefore are a crucial tool for reducing the digital divide in sparsely populated or hard-to-access areas, which on-ground networks are unable to reach. Indeed, satellites provide the only solution for connecting these communities to the rest of the world, thus strengthening their socio-economic development.
The Kioscos Vive Digital Plan represents the greatest technological investment made by the Colombian government in rural areas of the country. It seeks to encourage the comprehensive supply and demand of digital services, with projects such as these digital kiosks. Hoping to connect 100 percent of the communities with more than 100 inhabitants to at least one community Internet access point, the plan will facilitate the social inclusion of more than two million Colombians living in remote areas, using information technology.
The HISPASAT infosite is located at http://www.hispasat.es/