Sunday, July 26, 2015

Half of Latin Americans Have Internet Access, But Only 5% of Cubans Do

Half of Latin Americans Have Internet Access, But Only 5% of Cubans Do /
Posted on July 25, 2015

EFE / 14ymedio, Miami / Havana, July 24, 2015 — Half of the population
of Latin America is still without internet access, while only 10% have
broadband and 20% are connected via mobile phones, according to data
from the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) published Friday in
Miami. However, Cuba is one of the most technologically backward
countries in the world, with a penetration rate to the network of only
5%, which is reduced to 1% for broadband.

The report notes that, despite advances in digitization projects in the
region, the absence of digital coverage in Latin America is 50%,
according to the study "The Ecosystem and digital Economy in Latin America."

In businesses, according to the study, digital penetration is much
higher, about 70%.

The report, to be presented in the coming weeks, was sponsored by CAF,
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL), the
Ibero-American Association of Research Centers and Telecommunication
Enterprises (AHCIET) and the Telephonic Foundation.

In a statement, Mauricio Agudelo, a CAF telecommunications specialist,
says that a significant improvement of internet access "can be achieved
through public and private efforts" and added: "143 billion dollars are
needed to close the digital gap digital between now and 2020. "

According to figures from the CAF, in the last five years the
digitization of Latin America contributed 4.3% to the region's Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) and generated more than 900,000 jobs, making it
an essential element to mitigate the current economic slowdown.

Cuba's government promised to connect 50% of the population to the
internet from their homes and 60% from the mobile phones by 2020,
according to data from the US Department of State released in March.

On the island, access to the Internet is restricted and in general the
prices in public navigation rooms are very high for most of the
population. In 2013, just 514,400 computers of the more than one million
computers in the country were connected to the network, according to the
National Bureau of Statistics and Information (ONEI).

Source: Half of Latin Americans Have Internet Access, But Only 5% of
Cubans Do / 14ymedio | Translating Cuba -

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