Nearshore Americas

Costa Rica’s State-run Telecom Operator ICE to Extend Broadband Network

Costa Rica’s state-owned telecom firm, Grupo Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad (ICE), has announced that its fixed-line subsidiary, Kolbi, will roll out fiber broadband services in 66 more locations across the country over the next two years.

It seems the telco is looking to upgrade its entire broadband network to fiber as part of its ‘Next Generation Access Network’ program, allowing all its customers to access download speeds of up to 100 Mbps.

The first cantons – a type of administrative division in the Central American country – to be covered by the network will be San Ramon, Palmares, and Atenas, according the operator. Weeks later, cables will be rolled out in cantons, including Nicoya, Liberia, Golfito, Palmar Norte, Buenos Aires, and Playas del Coco.

Kolbi claims to have rolled out 7,377 kilometers of fiber to date, including three 100% fiber cities, namely Barva de Heredia, Mal Pais, and Quepos-Manuel Antonio.

The news comes almost a month after ICE reached a deal with Swedish telecom capacity vendor Telia Carrier for using the latter’s fiber backbone to provide dedicated internet access to its customers.

ICE has already hooked onto the Swedish company’s internet backbone. No doubt that the deal is an important step for ICE in meeting the growth of market demand and ensuring the development of telecommunications in Costa Rica.

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But it seems ICE has bigger plans. The state-run firm is reportedly finalizing plans to challenge Claro, a telecom carrier run by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s America Movil, and Movistar, a subsidiary of Telefonica in Central America, by extending its services throughout the region.

Narayan Ammachchi

News Editor for Nearshore Americas, Narayan Ammachchi is a career journalist with a decade of experience in politics and international business. He works out of his base in the Indian Silicon City of Bangalore.

1 comment

  • As expected, Pérez Zeledón is not on the list and this area is severely underserved already with DSL. Perhaps Claro will step in and fill the gap. It’s a disgrace how these utilities restrict access to the Internet, which is these days a necessity for school children in all grades.