Peru has embarked on an ambitious program designed to give satellite internet service to millions of its people in the remote countryside.
The program includes setting up wi-fi hotspots and cyber cafes in villages. Under a decree issued by the government, satellite internet access centers will be built in as many as 860 locations from Loreto to Ucayali, and Madre de Dios to Amazonas.
Considering reports in local newspapers, the government is hopeful of activating more than 3,000 wi-fi hotspots in public squares in rural areas by the end of July this year.
In addition, there will be more than a thousand internet access centers, according to the country’s Communications Minister, Eduardo González. Around 500 of these centers will be up and running within the next six months.
Gonzalez says his ministry has received US$40.5 million to carry out the task.
Those at the forefront of receiving the wi-fi hotspots are provinces including Huancavelica, Ayacucho, Apurímac, Lambayeque, Cusco, and Lima. In the years to come, the government will add another 3,000 hotspots to the rural telecom infrastructure.
Remote rural areas have long been devoid of internet service in Peru, largely because private telecom firms do not extend their coverage to sparsely populated terrains.
The program will no doubt bridge the so-called “digital divide” in Peru, where currently 30% of the countryside has no access to the World Wide Web.