Internet Access in Every Corner of Guatemala

Internet Access in Every Corner of Guatemala

According to the statistics only 67% of the population has Internet access in Guatemala (source somewhere in elperiodico.com.gt or prensalibre.com.gt), but by 2012 the stats will be close to 90% of the population with access to Internet. These figures sound a little off or highly inflated for a country like Guatemala where the majority of the population does not have a computer.

Well, does true and perhaps these numbers are a little optimistic, but you can explain these figures if you focus in the word access. Most of the Guatemalan population does not have Internet access at home, but certainly Guatemalans get their access through work, restaurants with wifi networks, public wifi areas, cellular telephones and Internet cafes, like the one shown above.

According to a study by the Unión Internacional de Comunicaciones, from 2002 through 2007 the number of Internet users went from 400,000 to over one million and it was expected to increase to over 2.5 million in the following to years (source Prensa Libre: Se duplica número de cibernautas).

La extrema pobreza es casi sinónimo de extremo aislamiento, especialmente aislamiento rural. Pero los teléfonos celulares y la internet inalámbrica ponen fin al aislamiento y, por lo tanto, terminarán siendo la tecnologí­a más transformadora del desarrollo económico de nuestro tiempo.

Extreme poverty is almost synonym of extreme isolation, especially in the rural areas. But cellular telephones and wireless Internet access finally put an end to isolation and, therefore, these will end up being the transforming technologies of economic development of our times. (source elPeriódico: La guerra digital contra la pobreza)

No wonder there are close to 7 million cellular lines compare to half million telephone line lines. Now, it seems like everybody has a cellular telephone, from the shoeshine boy to el señor presidente. Now the race is on to bring 3G Wireless Internet Access to the rest of the country; Tigo has a head start, but Telgua and Telefónica are closing in and best of all the service is getting faster and cheaper.

Guatemala constituye, en opinión de expertos, uno de los paí­ses más adelantados del Istmo centroamericano en cuanto a penetración de Internet inalámbrico.

Guatemala is, in the opinion of experts, one of the most advance countries of the Central American Isthmus in terms of wireless Internet penetration. (source Prensa Libre: WI-FI, Internet sin conexiones)

In your travels through and around Guatemala, what have been your impressions about Internet access?

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