Costa Rican Broadband Connections Grow 27.3% During First Half of 2009

Country Reaches 5.8% Overall Penetration, With Private and Public Schools Reaching 15% and 27% Growth, Respectively

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, October 30, 2009 - Cisco today announced the results of the Cisco® Broadband Barometer, which reported a 27.3 percent growth in fixed broadband connections in Costa Rica during the first half of 2009. 

The increase in broadband connections was mainly in the enterprise and home segments. According to the study, prepared by CAATEC Foundation and sponsored by Cisco, Costa Rica reached 270,757 fixed connections and a 5.8 percent penetration in its population.

The Cisco Broadband Barometer analyzed broadband penetration in public and private schools in the country. Public and private schools experienced a 15 percent and 27 percent broadband growth, respectively, during the first half of 2009.

Despite the growth, Costa Rica still needs around 52,000 new broadband connections  to reach the goal defined by the Cisco Broadband Barometer in conjunction with the government. That goal is 325,000 connections and 7 percent broadband penetration by 2010.

Highlights:

  • Nearly 52,000 connections were added to the fixed broadband market in Costa Rica during the first half of 2009. There was a 17.7 percent growth in connections with speeds between 512 kilobits per second (Kbps) and 1 megabit per second (Mbps) during the first half of 2009.  
  • Connections with speeds between 512 Kbps and 1 Mbps represent 37 percent of the fixed broadband market. Connections with speeds higher than 1 Mbps represent only 27.7 percent. The home segment continued to concentrate the majority of fixed broadband connections during the first half of 2009, reaching 206,877 connections and attaining a 23 percent growth.
  • The enterprise segment experienced 28.6 percent growth during this same period.
  • Broadband connections continue to concentrate in the urban areas. The cantons with the greatest penetration were Montes de Oca (20 percent), Escazu (19.4 percent) and Santo Domingo (17 percent). The cantons with less penetration were San Mateo, Guacimo and Coto Brus, with only 0.7 percent penetration. 
  • ADSL connections grew 32.2 percent and cable modem grew 19.8 percent. In the educational system. 39 percent of public schools and 61 percent of private schools have broadband connections.
  • The majority of public and private schools in the country have connections with speeds between 256 Kbps and 512 Kbps.
  • Mobile Internet is still at an early stage in Costa Rica, with only 6 percent of GSM cell phone lines having Internet access activated.
  • There are still 52,243 connections needed to reach the goal defined by the Cisco Broadband Barometer: 325,000 connections and 7 percent broadband penetration by 2010.

Supporting Quotes:

  • Ravi Lingam, general manager Cisco Costa Rica and Panama
    • "High-speed networks have turned into a fundamental part of the basic infrastructure of every country, because they enable growth and contribute to promoting economic recovery under the actual circumstances. Broadband networks offer a unique and profitable opportunity to increase productivity and competitiveness in addition to overcoming physical and geographical limitations to provide services to citizens."
    • "Accelerating broadband penetration is a goal for the country, which should get support from both private and public sectors.  Costa Rica has maintained a constant growth in the number of connections. Nonetheless, it is fundamental to strive harder in order to make broadband massive and have a five-year vision that allows us to reach penetration percentages that are globally competitive.  Likewise, enhancing connection quality and providing access to rural areas of Costa Rica are priorities in improving the country's connectivity conditions."
    • "Technology is the great enabler for teaching and learning 21st-century skills. It is imperative to take broadband to public and private schools in the country in order to consolidate an educational model in accordance with the challenges of the knowledge economy, " concluded Lingam.

  • Hannia Vega, vice-minister of Telecommunications
    • "The Costa Rican government is absolutely certain of the importance of increasing broadband Internet coverage throughout the country, as a basic element of increasing competitiveness and improving our human development. For this reason, the Telecommunications National Development Plan contains specific goals in this field, aimed at having 90 percent of all connections in Costa Rica being broadband in five years."
    • "In order to promote a competitive broadband that will allow for the development of more and better services, the plan redefines the ranges of broadband, starting from a minimum of 512 Kbps for universal access projects, continuing with 4 Mbps for commercial broadband and other categories with higher speeds for corporate services."
    • "With the market entry of new broadband Internet service vendors, it is expected that the country will experience something similar to what has happened in other nations, where prices have had a tendency to decrease, thus promoting higher penetration and contributing to the reduction of the digital gap," said Vega.

Support Sources:

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