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Telecom Board: P.R.’s internet adoption rate on the rise

TRB Chair Javier Rúa-Jovet. (Credit: Joe Colón)

Telecom Board President Javier Rúa-Jovet. (Credit: Joe Colón)

Puerto Rico’s internet adoption rate continues increasing, reaching 81.6 percent during the first quarter of 2016, Telecommunications Regulatory Board President Javier Rúa-Jovet said, citing statistics published by Akamai Technologies.

The Massachusetts-based content delivery network conducted an internet speed and adoption study across North and Latin America, and Europe, which showed Puerto Rico’s improved numbers.

The survey showed that during the first quarter of this year, Puerto Rico had increased its average internet connection speed to 10,633 kbps, beating out segment leaders Uruguay, Chile and Mexico, Rúa-Jovet said.

“Puerto Rico is the Latin American leader in average internet speeds and prices, and third in the hemisphere after the U.S. mainland and Canada. The island’s wireless internet market is ultra competitive and as, or cheaper than, similar companies in North America, while the wireline market is constantly evolving in a very competitive way as well,” he said.

“Currently, the services offered by local internet service providers to our consumers are rapidly transforming toward fiber optics, taking them to homes and businesses,” Rúa-Jovet said.

“All this investment in infrastructure translates into more, and better, agile and efficient services for the benefit of internet users throughout Puerto Rico, “said Rúa-Jovet.

The study showed that at rates of 4 Mbps, Puerto Rico has increased its adoption rate from 0.9 percent in 2007 to 81.6 percent in 2016. The percentage of internet adoption on the island at speeds of 10 Mbps is of 37 percent, compared to 17 percent in Uruguay, which ranks second in this category.

Uruguay is followed by Chile, with 15.6 percent, and Mexico, with 14.6 percent. The adoption rate in the U.S. mainland is 85.7 percent, in France it is 80.8 percent, and in Italy it is 82.5 percent, so that the increase in internet penetration in Puerto Rico and the adoption of the market has been significant, the telecom industry regulator said.

“We want to clarify with data and statistics that demonstrate the reality of the state of the internet in Puerto Rico, to avoid confusion or misinterpretation around this issue,” he added.

Since 2014, the Telecom Board has developed several initiatives to expand broadband use throughout the island, namely “PAIS Banda Ancha” and “TecnoAbuelos.” The agency has also focused on facilitating access and adoption of broadband through the location of internet centers, free WiFi services around public squares, and the maximization of existing state infrastructure in urban centers for the deployment of fiber optic infrastructure.

“These results reinforce the Board’s vision in our commitment to provide access to cutting-edge internet technologies to our citizens and businesses, which each day require better services and technology vehicles to facilitate access to vital information for greater economic development, and a better quality of life,” he said.

“After 20 years of serving Puerto Rico, we continue to work hard and make significant progress in Puerto Rico’s communications and information technology sector,” said Rúa-Jovet.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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