Governments from Latin America to the Asia Pacific region have been spending significant amounts of money on digital divide programs. These government-sponsored initiatives help bridge the digital divide by subsidizing free or vastly discounted internet access for citizens. In many instances, mobile operators and internet service providers are required to extend their services to the most remote and rural populations as part of a “Universal Service Obligation” to help governments fulfill these connectivity initiatives.
As governments look to connect their most remote citizens, satellite enabled Community Wi-Fi Hotspots are filling this critical gap. As an example, Hughes Community Wi-Fi Hotspots offer a shared cost solution for making internet access available and affordable. With Hughes JUPITER™ System equipment connecting to satellite broadband, a Wi-Fi access point amplifies the satellite internet service across several hundred meters in public spaces, like in schools, libraries, community centers and shops. The shared solution serves tens or even hundreds of users, so capital expense per user is a fraction of the cost of a direct-to-home internet subscription. Community Wi-Fi Hotspots are configured with a compact, easy to install Hughes satellite VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) and Wi-Fi equipment.
In Brazil, for example, government subsidized free Wi-Fi is offered at 7,500+ hotspots; in Mexico at more than 27,500+ hotspots; and in Colombia at 10,000+ hotspots. Each hotspot can serve roughly 500 people. Latin American countries are not the only ones benefitting from Hughes Community Wi-Fi Solutions, there are now more than 65,000 Community Wi-Fi Hotspots powered by Hughes equipment serving 30 million users around the world. In each case, Community Wi-Fi is changing lives for the better, making it possible for people to connect with family and friends and work and study in ways they never could before.