Costa Rica

Costa Rica foundation excluded from connectivity program

Bnamericas Published: Monday, December 20, 2021

Costa Rica’s comptroller general has excluded the Omar Dengo Foundation from a school connectivity program, leaving all the work to regulator Sutel and the education ministry.

The so-called bicentennial educational network project is divided into two parts. One, overseen by Sutel, involves US$35.4mn, connecting 2,375 educational centers.

The second part, connecting 2,139 schools, was tendered this year and entrusted to the Omar Dengo Foundation, but the comptroller general suspended the process.

The foundation and the ministry appealed, but the comptroller general has confirmed the decision, because it did not agree with the transfer of essential competencies from the ministry to the foundation.

“The MEP cannot justify the delegation of the project or an alleged inability to do so given that it has the financial resources and the necessary technical staff, being able to resort to administrative contracting procedures to meet the needs for goods or services it may require,” the comptroller general said in its resolution.

“Finally, the MEP must guarantee the continuity of telecommunications services in accordance with the options that it currently uses for the connection of 4,821 educational centers,” it added.

Local media reported the ministry will comply with the resolution, but the connectivity program will be delayed without the foundation’s help.

“We hope they can continue to advance and make up for lost time so that next year we can achieve our planned goals. We hope to have connectivity in the most remote areas, which today have the greatest access gap,” telecommunications deputy minister Teodoro Willink previously told BNamericas.

Sutel’s part focuses on schools in unprofitable areas.


Sutel signed a contract with four carriers to provide broadband to 673 educational centers. Of this total, 95 are already connected with broadband speeds of 15-500Mbps, the regulator said in a statement.

It also said work is underway at 458 educational centers.

"The Sutel board, in coordination with the contracted operators, makes an additional effort to advance to the maximum with the assigned goal and achieve the greatest progress before the start of the school year on February 17, 2022," according to a statement.

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