Colombian Statistical Agency DANE Presents Statistics At ANDICOM 2021 Showing Colombia Still Suffers A Vast Digital Divide
During the IT industry event ANDICOM 2021 in Cartagena last month, Colombia’s National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE) gave a presentation on telecommunications connectivity in Colombia. Figures revealed by DANE’s Director Juan Daniel Oviedo Arango showed that a stark digital divide still exists in the country, based on the report “ICT and the digital user: a perspective from official statistics.”
Oviedo discussed four areas of research:
- Digital services in national (telephony) accounts,
- ICT usage in households,
- ICT usage in companies,
- The effect of the COVID pandemic on enterprise ICT utilization.
According to the report, telecommunications-related activities grew by 0.5% during 2020, while in 2019 that increase was 5.3%. As for IT services, 2020 saw a 2.4% contraction of activities, compared to an increase of 8.5% reported in 2019.
Among other important findings, during the pandemic, several sectors saw growth:
- Mobile telephony services (8%)
- Internet connectivity (5%), and
- Other telecommunications services (5.5%).
56.5% of Colombian households have internet connection. However, there is a vast difference between urban connectivity where 66.5% of homes are online, and rural connectivity, which only reaches 23.8%. The Colombian departments with the best internet access are Bolívar, Valle, Bogotá, Risaralda, and Santander. The areas with the most deficient access are Chocó, Vichada, and Vaupés.
“We can say that Colombia in terms of internet connectivity seems to be made up of only 14 departments. But this also shows us, without a doubt, the great gap that exists between the urban and rural areas of Colombia,” Oviedo said.
After a brief count related to the proportion of households that have an internet connection nationwide, the DANE voter explained the reasons why a significant percentage of users do not have connectivity.
“Among the main reasons highlighted by the rural population for not having internet is that there is no coverage in the area, followed by the high cost. For their part, citizens affirmed that the main reason for not having internet is that the service is very expensive,” explained Oviedo
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