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Internet: Demand Increases in Central America

The percentage of the population with Internet access in Central America increased 17% between 2016 and 2018, increasing from 44% to 61%.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Data from the report "Internet in Central America 2018", compiled by the Commercial Trade Area of CentralAmericaData:

Currently, Costa Rica is the Central American country with the highest proportion of households with Internet access, with 77% of the total, followed by Panama with 67% and Honduras with 31%.

Regarding the proportion of the total population that has access to the Internet in the region, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua are the countries with the lowest levels, reporting 39%, 42% and 43%, respectively.

Which websites are visited by Central Americans?

The study details that YouTube is the most visited website in the six countries of the region.

About 45% of the total number of users in Central America connect to the Internet via cell phone, while the rest of the population connects via computers and other devices.

The largest proportion of Internet users in the region is people in the 12-40 age range, a group that represents 62% of the total population accessing the network.

When the figures are reviewed according to the place from which they connect to the Internet, the report details that in Central America about 74% of people in the web access from home.



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Google finishes the install of its private Curie cable, announces Panama branch




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Google building 1000, km cable extension to Panama


Posted 14/11/2019

The Google technology giant plans  a 1,000 kilometers submarine cable  extension called “Curie” to Panama to improve connectivity

Christian Ramos, Google's representative for Latin America,  said on Thursday. November 9 that the adaptation of the extensive infrastructure will take about a year.

he first phase of this wiring goes from Los Angeles, in the US to Valparaíso, in Chile. Once installed, it will benefit more than 700 million Internet users.

Panama President, Laurentino Cortizo, said that the connection ill brings benefits to citizens, not only in cybernetics but will be a new source of employment generation resulting in the reduction of poverty and inequality gaps.

“ It will help our companies be much more competitive. The more connected our communities are, the more opportunities they have,” said the president.



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Panama  lags behind Chile in internet speed ranking


Posted 11/02/2020

Panama ranks behind two Chilean companies for the best average speed for downloading fixed internet in Latin America according to a comparative study conducted by the French company nPerf.

The geographical perimeter of 17 countries includes Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador and Mexico.

VTR, from Chile, achieves the first place in the ranking by providing its subscribers with an average download speed of 84.75 Mb / s in 2019.

The second position is achieved by the company Mundo Pacífico, also Chilean, with 71.37 Mb / s, followed by the Panamanian Cable Onda with 56.89 Mb / s.

The objective of the nPerf speed test is to measure the maximum capacity of the data connection in terms of speed and latency.



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Caribbean Express project launches subsea cable linking Florida to Panama

Published: Thursday | February 18, 2021 | 6:18 PM


ATLANTA, Feb. 18, CMC – Ocean Networks (ONI) a company based in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States, has confirmed the launch of its Caribbean Express project, an 18-fibre pair subsea cable system linking the state of Florida to Panama.

The CX system will use Space Division Multiplexing technology to connect West Palm Beach in Florida, Balboa in Panama, Cancun in Mexico and Cartagena in Colombia with high speed, low latency fibre-optic connectivity. 

The system will be designed for future connectivity options to other countries along the route.

Valued at approximately US$300 million, ONI has to date already invested significant capital in progressing the route development of the system. 

This includes market analysis, permit and environmental studies and securing landing party agreements.

Concerning  the funding of the project, ONI has enlisted Commenda, an Atlanta-based merchant bank that has previously worked with corporate and governmental funds as well as US and foreign banks to privately fund projects like the Caribbean Express cable.

“The consumer demand for a new submarine cable system between Central America and the US is enormous. Traffic is nearly doubling every two years,” says John R. Runningen, co-founder and principal at Commenda.

“As a result, ONI has already received significant subscriber interest from large IT and telecom customers who are anxious to expand their presence in these new and under-served consumer markets.”

According to ONI, several large corporate customers have already expressed interest in either a dedicated fibre pair or managed bandwidth as soon as CX is completed.

In addition, due to the need for a system like CX in the region and its impact on the economies of the Central and South America, there is the potential for governmental partners to join this project as well.

As a result, ONI has positioned branch units in strategic locations along the route to easily enable future connectivity. 

Once completed CX will be the only system that can offer new dedicated dark fibre pair IRUs in the Caribbean market.

“We are excited about launching this new submarine cable digital superhighway across the Caribbean.” says Robert Hildebrecht, CFO at Ocean Networks.

“We selected Commenda to raise the balance of the capital for this project based on the experience of their team and their successful track record in advising rapidly growing companies like ONI. With the support of Commenda and the experience of the ONI team, we fully expect the Caribbean Express cable system to be completed on schedule and under budget.”

Due to become ready for service in early 2024, the next steps for the project along with the remaining capital commitments, include supplier request for quotation’s issued in March to selected system suppliers, with the awarded contracts in force by July 2021.

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