In the ambitious project Todo Chile Communicado, All Chile Communicating, the government of Chile is rolling out broadband coverage to 1,474 designated rural communities, to an estimated three million people. This will combine with Chile’s existing networks to enable more than 90 percent of the population to access the Internet.
Backed by its longstanding Fondo de Desarrollo las Telecommunicaciones (Telecommunications Development Fund), the government of Chile has made funds available for this purpose and rollout began in 2010. In a public-private partnership, the government is working with operator Entel and Ericsson, to provide the network and coverage across the country’s vast spaces and rugged terrain.
The immediate aim of the project is to improve quality of life for Chile’s rural population. Broadband will open up possibilities for enhanced service provision in essential areas. For example, as part of the initiative, Entel has established educational programs that provide rural schools more than 1,000 km from the capital with equipment and connections, offering pupils improved possibilities and prospects, and during 2011 we began to pilot Connect to Learn in a few of the schools.
It is expected that broadband will make life easier, quicker, safer and better for people living in rural communities, resulting in a better quality of life. The government expects that it will improve rural productivity and ultimately, improve GDP.