A third of Mexican households have no internet access, something the Mexican president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, is keen to change with a massive proposed investment in internet connectivity.
He said earlier this week that Mexico is considering investing around 30 billion pesos (about $1.5 billion) to boost internet connectivity, especially in isolated rural areas. Local news reports have suggested that the state-owned Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) may play a role in the installation of antennas to support the plan – some 2,500 of them by the first half of 2023.
It’s not just about the internet, however. As Reuters points out, millions of Mexicans still do not have access to mobile coverage to make simple voice calls.
IFT, the country's telecommunications regulator, suggests that only about 66% of households in Mexico have internet access and that one in five members of the indigenous population – about two million people – do not have access to any mobile service.
Hence the president’s call for fresh investments – and possibly even subsidies to help people afford internet connectivity.
At the moment detail is lacking but this plan is likely to involve building on the work of Altan Redes which, since 2016, has been tasked with building a wholesale national mobile network. The promise was 92.2% coverage by 2028 (or 2024 until the deadline was extended).
However, the company had to be bailed out by the state after it filed for bankruptcy last year. The Mexican state is already the majority partner in the company.
It nevertheless looks like the Mexican president is keeping faith with Altan Redes to help him deliver on his promise of secure internet access in all towns and free Wi-Fi in public spaces.