Chilean Subsecretaria de Telecomunicaciones (Subtel) reported on December 18th that it made a report on the digital divide in the country. As a result, the Chilean entity reported that FTTH connections have doubled in different communes of the country between December 2019 and June 2020, including Melipilla; Arica; La Granja; Peñaflor; Tome; San Antonio; Constitution; Coquimbo; Angol; Peñalolen; Antofagasta and San Ramon.
To develop this analysis, the country was divided into six areas: Area Metropolitana de Gran Santiago; Gran Valparaiso; Gran Concepcion; main cities with a population greater than 200 thousand inhabitants, cities with a population of over 50 thousand inhabitants, and towns and rural areas. According to Subtel, the deployment of fixed Internet is concentrated in the main metropolitan areas of the country: Area Metropolitana de Santiago, Gran Valparaíso and Gran Concepcion. ‘If all the communes with more than 200 thousand inhabitants are added to these areas, we are talking about 6.8% of the national territory, but which accounts for 76% of all households with fixed Internet in the country. On the contrary, 93.2% of the territory has only 24% of all households connected to fixed Internet’, they reported from the entity.
In addition, of the total of areas included in the first five categories (Area Metropolitana de Santiago Metropolitan Area, Gran Valparaiso, Gran Concepcion, main cities with a population of over 200 thousand inhabitants and cities with a population of over 50 thousand inhabitants), which involves 95 communes, Subtel reported that ‘a total of 23 communes are in a critical situation due to their low levels of fixed connectivity’. The list includes the communes of La Pintana, Cerro Navia, Lo Espejo, San Ramon, Lota, Hualpen, Hualqui, Los Angeles, Maule, Padre Las Casas, Constitucion, Paine, Villarrica, Melipilla, San Carlos, Ovalle, San Vicente, Chillan Viejo, Rengo, Vallenar, Linares, San Antonio and Alto Hospicio.
The report also informs that 19 other Chilean communes are going through an alert situation due to the state of their fixed connectivity. In this case, the communes involved are Lo Prado, Recoleta, La Granja, San Joaquin, Valparaiso, Concepcion, Coronel, Penco, Tome, Arica, Coquimbo, Rancagua, Puerto Montt, Angol, Talagante, San Fernando, Coyhaique, Buin and San Felipe . Likewise, according to Subtel, the digital divide is smaller in large cities and greater in rural communes. However, in the case of highly populated areas, the gap is largely conditioned by the economic income of families.
In relation to towns and rural areas, where Subtel includes regions such as Arica and Parinacota, and Coquimbo, ‘they have very poor connectivity rates outside of their regional capitals and large cities. Meanwhile, the rest of the regions feature bad indicators, the exceptions being Biobío and Los Rios, with not so bad indicators compared to the rest of the country’, the entity reported.