The Colombian Ministry of Information Technologies and Telecommunications (MINTIC) has extended its contract with Gilat Satellite Networks to provide broadband services to over 1500 schools in the Latin American country.
The contract was originally awarded in December 2011. The extension, worth approximately $.6.75m, focuses on schools in more remote areas of the country. The project, hosted by the Direccion de Conectividad (formerly "Compartel") and the Ministry's "Fondo de Tecnologías de la Información y lasCommunicaciones," is scheduled to finish by early December, 2013, at the end of the current extension.
Danny Fridman, CEO of Gilat Peru and Colombia, noted that “improving the quality of education around the world by enabling broadband-enabled classrooms, providing students and teachers with fast, reliable, satellite connectivity" was a key factor in “the Ministry's significant efforts to improve education and employment in rural areas.”
The network, which utilizes the innovative Sky-Edge II WebEnhance VSAT, will provide over 1500 schools with data rates of up to 2 Mbps located in five separate districts across rural Colombia. The program is part of the Colombian government's ongoing efforts to "bridge the digital divide" and reduce the communications gap in Colombia with increased investment to improve access to advanced communications services in schools.