Broadband connection growth hits speedbump

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chile summed up 138,700 new broadband connections in 2010, increasing 8.1% but slowing down in the second half of the year with 4.2% growth compared to 40% advances in the first half, according to Cisco's Broadband Barometer study, carried out by consultancy IDC.

The cooled expansion meant that the country lost the leading position it had sustained since the study began eight years ago, Cisco said. Overall broadband penetration came to 10.8% - behind Uruguay at 12.3% and Argentina at 11.7%.

According to IDC, broadband connections in Chile are going through a second phase of development, being deployed in rural and lower-income areas, which means slower adoption. Also, some segments of the population still fail to see the benefit of having a broadband connection.

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"With such slow broadband growth, the poorest segments of the population will always be left out of the... benefits of connectivity," said Cisco Chile general manager Nicolás Chiappara. "The cost of this technology is still inhibiting growth and [wider] access for the whole population."

At the same time, in 2010 mobile broadband accesses jumped 96.5% to 1.02mn connections. During the second half of the year alone, 40.5% growth was registered, with similar expansion rates in the metropolitan region, home to capital Santiago, and other regions.