Chile’s Sub-Secretaria de Telecomunicaciones (Subtel) has launched tenders for two new projects to increase the availability of wireless and internet services. The first covers the installation of 1,036 Wi-Fi hotspots – four in each of 259 cities – that will provide free internet access to users for a period of five years. The hotspots are to be installed in busy urban zones, such as central business districts and areas of ‘social significance’. The government has allocated a maximum grant of CLP5.21 billion (USD11.02 million) for the project. The second programme will see the expansion of mobile voice and data networks to 321 locations in the north of the country. In total, the expanded networks will cover 12,600 homes and 46,000 residents. A pot of CLP24.13 billion is available for the project.
Commenting on the tenders, undersecretary of telecommunications, Jorge Atton said: ‘The challenge is to bring all citizens of our country to the knowledge society with opportunities, tools and digital skills to enable them to integrate into the world of technology and reduce the digital divide through universal access to broadband.’