Fixed broadband connections grew slowly in Chile during 2010, according to the just-released Cisco Broadband Barometer. As a result Chile has lost its leadership in the penetration of broadband technology in Latin America, which the country had held for eight years, ever since the Broadband Barometer started.
According to the report, fixed broadband connections grew 8.1 percent during 2010, adding 138,700 new connections, for a total of 1.82 million subscriptions. Mobile broadband grew 96.5 percent, for a total of 1.02 million connections, as of last December.
* According to the report, issued by the research firm IDC, fixed broadband in Chile is growing slowly because it is at the second stage of expansion: into rural areas and populations with lower incomes. In addition, some segments of the population still lack knowledge about the benefits of broadband Internet connectivity.
* In the second half of last year, Chile added only 73,600 fixed broadband connections, representing a growth of 4.2 percent.
* With this low growth, Chile lost its leadership in broadband penetration — now at 10.8 percent — and falls below Uruguay (12.3) and Argentina (11.7 percent).
* During last year, fixed broadband connections in the Santiago metropolitan region experienced a slightly higher growth than the rest of the country, with an increase of 4.4 percent versus 4.0 percent, respectively.
* Connections with speeds higher than 2 megabits per second experienced strong growth in the last six months, reaching 81 percent.
* Mobile broadband connections grew 40.5 percent during the second half of 2010, experiencing similar growth in and outside the Santiago metropolitan region.
* According to a World Bank report, broadband has a clear impact on productivity: In countries with low or medium income, an increase of 10 percent in the penetration of broadband is correlated with an increase of 1.4 percentage points in the per capita gross domestic product.
Nicolás Chiappara, general manager, Cisco Chile: “With such a low growth of broadband, the poorest segments of the population will always be behind in benefiting from Internet connectivity.
“The cost of this technology still inhibits its growth and access for all segments of the population. Mobile broadband is growing very fast, but it does not necessarily represent an alternative for the widest Internet access for all Chileans.”