Ecuador has launched a digital program aimed at arming its public institutions with digital technologies and providing citizens with easy access to high speed Internet.
The plan envisages giving 98% of the country access to high-speed Internet by 2023, compared with the 35% of households that currently enjoy access to the web and broadband services.
More than 7.5 million people have so far signed up to high speed 4G – LTE connections, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (INEC).
In addition, around 80% of government services will be provided online over the next four years, with the government saying it will set up more than 1,000 WiFi hotspots across its urban landscape.
According to local media reports, the government is emphasizing that digital transformation will make private businesses and public institutions more productive and competitive.
“I am convinced that the development of the country cannot come if it does not go not hand in hand with ICTs,” Xinhua news agency reported, quoting Ecuadorian Telecom Minister Andrés Michelena.
“Technology is a great engine for development, for entrepreneurship, and for education.”
The program also aims to develop a strong pool of digital professionals.
“Depriving citizens access to telecommunications also means limiting their human, professional and educational growth,” Michelana added.
To encourage more people to sign up to broadband services, the government will reduce Internet costs, as well as fees for roaming services.