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Colombia is a study in contrast—from the snow-capped peaks of the Andes Mountains to steamy Amazon rainforests, from sparkling tropical beaches to teeming cities. Offering beauty and high adventure to visitors and locals alike, this extreme geography also presents significant challenges to the delivery of communications services.
That’s why the Ministry of Information Technology and Commu- nication’s (MinTIC) has set up the Vive Digital program to help bridge the country’s digital divide. Begun in 2012, Vive Digital is a national initiative aimed at expanding Colombia’s information and communications technology (ICT) industry, infrastructure, and Internet usage. A key component of the initiative is the dis- tribution of more than 16,600 computers in Atlántico, benefiting more than 320,000 children.
As part of the project, Hughes has teamed with Colom- bia-based telecom operators, Anditel and Hispasat/NEC, to deliver high-speed Internet service to schoolchildren in the most remote areas of Colombia. Hughes is providing its advanced HX System and broadband satellite terminals for more than 1,500 Vive Digital kiosks (KVDs) across the country. Primarily used for Internet access by schoolchildren, the KVDs will perform double duty after school hours to serve the community at large. The Hughes solution, which will be installed and operated by Anditel and Hispasat/NEC as a managed service for MinTIC, is configured to offer Internet access rates of more than 6 Mbps downstream and more than 1.5 Mbps upstream to schools within the serviced regions.
“We partnered with Hughes for the Vive Digital program due to the lower operating costs of their extensive satellite network,” said Francisco Navarro, president of Anditel. “The Hughes HX System is highly bandwidth-efficient, giving us the best possible economy and performance, as well as being very easy to install and manage.”
The HX System is optimized for carrier-grade IP broadband networking and is particularly well suited for digital divide programs such as Vive Digital. Employing a highly-efficient bandwidth management system, the HX solution delivers high performance econom- ically, and can be readily scaled from hundreds to thousands of terminals.
“The ability of Hughes to combine performance with reliability was a key deci- sion-maker for our partner- ship,” added Navarro.
“Bringing the educational and economic advantages of the Internet to rural and underserved populations is an important mission of the Hughes international business,” said Hugo Frega, Hughes senior director of sales, Latin America. “We are proud to be working with both Anditel and Hispasat as new Hughes customers and highly experienced partners in connecting the most remote places in Colombia.”
With its innovative Vive Digital program, MinTIC is enriching the lives of schoolchildren—and indeed entire communities— in rural and remote areas of Colombia, which will now have access to Internet service, dramatically changing lives and helping propel them into the 21st century.