News Release

Broadband Connections Grew 21 percent in Costa Rica in Latter Half of 2008

Country's Broadband Penetration Reaches 5 percent, with Growth Concentrated in Larger Cities
Jun 16, 2009

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, June 17, 2009 – Cisco announced today the results of the sixth edition of the Cisco Broadband Barometer, which reported a 21.5 percent growth in the number of fixed broadband connections in Costa Rica during the second half of 2008. This growth was due primarily to a high concentration of broadband connections in the larger cities such as San Jose, Heredia and Alajuela. Even with this significant achievement, there is still a need to significantly increase broadband Internet connectivity in rural areas to achieve the country's goals.

Mobile broadband also achieved a significant 154.2 percent growth in the six months between July and December, reaching 2,489 subscribers. Fixed broadband reached 218,836 connections, which represents a 5 percent penetration in Costa Rica as of December 2008, compared with the 3.4 percent penetration registered in June.

Despite the growth in broadband penetration, Costa Rica continues to face challenges in closing the gap between itself and countries such as Argentina and Chile, which have penetrations of 7.8 and 8.8 percent, respectively. During last six months of 2008, the home segment achieved a 16 percent growth and the enterprise segment reached 38 percent growth.

Connections with speeds between 1 and 2 megabits per second represented 20.4 percent of the total market and achieved a growth of 3.6 percent during second half of 2008. Connections with speeds of 2 Mbps or more represented 8.6 percent of the market, but decreased by 19.9 percent against the previous barometer. Costa Rica has a lower number of high-speed broadband connections than other countries in Latin America, such as Argentina, Brazil and Chile; they are a necessary requirement for the development of Web 2.0 tools with video and collaboration applications.

The first edition of Cisco's Broadband Barometer established a country goal of 325,000 connections by 2010. The country needs 106,164 additional connections by December 2009 to reach this goal. 

"High-speed networks have become part of the basic infrastructure of any country, and as the foundation of the knowledge economy, they enable growth and will help to power recovery from the current economic crisis. Not only will they improve national competitiveness across sectors, but they will turn the crisis into an opportunity for new growth and employment creation that are driven by the knowledge economy, with a major, lasting impact on the country's welfare," said Jose Manuel Berruecos, general manager for Cisco Central America, Caribbean and North of Southamerica.

"Costa Rica must continue to focus on its action to provide broadband to the whole country through ICT investment programs, which enable the adoption of technology as one of the main pillars for economic and social development in the country," Berruecos said.

Other findings:

  • The enterprise segment had a 25 percent growth in fixed broadband connections, in comparison to the previous half year.
  • ADSL and cable modem together represented 85 percent of fixed broadband connections during the second half of 2008.
  • By December 2008, 47,998 homes had new fixed broadband connections. During that same period, 24,180 companies obtained new fixed broadband connections.
  • By the second half of 2008, 2,652 academic institutions and 4,421 government entities had a broadband connection.
  • The majority of fixed broadband connections are concentrated in the cities of San Jose and Heredia. The cantons with greater fixed broadband penetration are Escazu (18 percent), San Pedro de Montes de Oca, San Jose (17.7 percent); Belen (14 percent) and Santo Domingo (13.8 percent).

About the Barometer

Sponsored by Cisco and conducted by CAATEC (, the Cisco Broadband Barometer is published semiannually with a goal of measuring the evolution of the Costa Rican broadband market. As part of its vision to promote broadband adoption in Costa Rica, Cisco established a goal of reaching 325,000 connections by the year 2010, number that is necessary to promote economic development, competitiveness and productivity in the country, as well as to produce a better quality of life for its citizens. 

Information for the sixth edition of the barometer was obtained with the help from ICE and RACSA's employees, for each half-year since 2005. The information was processed in a manner which was consistent with Cisco Barometer's methodology, according to technology type, user, specific region and price.

The barometer measures IP, ADSL, cable modem, fixed and satellite wireless connections as well as fixed broadband connections. Mobile broadband connections include packages sold for computers and do not include 3G telephones.