The government of Colombia has chosen Speedcast International for a project to provide high-speed internet to 250 sites across rural Colombia.
The initiative will provide Colombians from Guajira to Amazonas with near-instant internet access, even in regions where fibre, cable and LTE services are unavailable.
The 18-month project was inaugurated on August 22 by Colombia’s President, Iván Duque Márquez, and the Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications (MinTIC), Minister Karen Abundin. Minister Abundin activated a Rural Digital Zone that will benefit more than 770 inhabitants of Santa Cruz del Islote, Bolívar, considered the most densely populated island in the world.
During the inauguration event, Minister Abundin said: "We are in tune with the communication needs of each of the regions of our country. For this reason, the ICT Ministry will continue taking connectivity projects to remote and difficult-to-access territories such as Santa Cruz del Islote. We will continue working 24/7 to bring the benefits of connectivity to all Colombians."
Ricardo Egas, Country Manager of Speedcast Colombia, added: "In the absence of fibre and cable, satellite broadband is key to effectively delivering much-needed connectivity to the most remote areas of Colombia. With our expertise and network of trusted partners, we are committed to enriching the country's digital economy and look forward to seeing its full potential met over the next year-and-a-half."
Speedcast has been delivering critical VSAT services for more than twenty years. The partnership with Hughes Network Systems will provide seamless and reliable coverage at each of the 250 sites, leveraging Hughes' Ka-band High Throughput Satellite (HTS) coverage to power 162 Community Wi-Fi hotspots, while the remaining 88 sites will leverage Ku-band connectivity.
Following the contract award to local government organization EMTEL by MinTIC and Communications Colombia, the project was awarded to Speedcast by its customer UT Wi-Fi Rural Colombia (a joint venture between SDT Ingenieria and Dinatel). The solution leverages Speedcast’s Ku-band network and Hughes' Ka-band JUPITER 2 and Hughes 63 West satellites, with both parties supporting UT Wi-Fi Rural Colombia in installing the hotspots.