Colombia’s government has unveiled a new ICT plan for the next four years, following the re-election of President Juan Manuel Santos for a second term. The government is extending its Vive Digital programme into 2018, after ICT minister Diego Molano claimed that all 93 initiatives of the 2010-2014 project had been successfully implemented. The new plan looks to increase the number of internet users to 27 million by the end of 2018, with 63% of households and 70% of small businesses to have access to broadband services by that date. Under the new scheme, the government is targeting making 4G networks and free Wi-Fi hotspots available in every municipality whilst increasing the average broadband speed from 1Mbps to 4Mbps. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Information Technology and Communication (MinTIC) will continue its programme of subsidising IT tools and services for lower-income households. Similarly, the government intends to progress further with its strategy of providing schools and students with tablets and laptops with a view to reducing the number of children per computer from four to one, as well as providing computers for 350,000 teachers. In the business segment, Bogota intends to double the number of companies and triple the number of employees in the ICT sector to 3,600 and 84,000 respectively. The government has also set a target of COP19.6 trillion (USD10.398 billion) in annual revenues from the ICT segment by 2018.
In terms of policy changes, the new programme will see the implementation of a new cyber security strategy, whilst issues of data privacy and net neutrality are also slated for review. MinTIC will also set new levels for quality of service (QoS) standards and will look into changes for interconnection rates.
As noted by TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the government launched the Vive Digital programme in 2010 with the intention of improving Colombia’s overall economic welfare through the development and promotion of ICT in the nation, seeing technology, and internet access in particular, as a means to create new jobs and reduce poverty. The Vive Digital programme was divided into four sections, namely ‘Infrastructure’, ‘Services’, ‘Applications’ and ‘Users’.