The most recent “Chilean Broadband Barometer” shows that Chile remains the most advanced Latin American country in terms of the “broadband penetration,” an important economic indicator.
Broadband use in Chile increased 18% from December 2008 to December 2009. Now 10.30 percent of Chileans 33.6% of houses have broadband access. The hope was that 50% of houses would have broadband for Chile’s bicentennial, which happens this year. It isn’t going to happen.
Chile ranks first among Latin American countries, but is far from the broadband penetration in other OECD countries. Natalia Vega of the IDC, the company that carried out the multinational study for Cisco Systems, said that the “US has double our broadband penetration and Germany has triple.”
During the election campaign, Pres. Sebastian Piñera spoke to the Chilean Association of Information Technology Companies (ACTI) and promised a subsidy for broadband expansion that he calculated at US$300 million per year. Puppy Rojas, representative of the Subsecretary of Telecommunications (Subtel), commented that while nothing has been decided officially, “we are working on it and it is a priority of the government.”
Broadband use in Chile has continued to grow, but remains distributed unequally across the country. Broadband penetration reaches over 14% of the population in the Metropolitan Region (RM) and in the northern regions of Tarapacá (I) and Antofagasta (II), but goes as low as 4% just south of the RM in O’Higgins (VI) and Maule (VII) and in the extreme south in Magallanes (XII).
The largest growth has been in prepaid broadband and mobile broadband. Prepaid broadband was just recently introduced, but already has almost 5% of the broadband market while mobile broadband has grown almost 50% in the past six months.