For many of us, Internet access is something so common that we take it for granted. However, a significant part of the Mexican population has no way to go online due to the lack of communications infrastructure in their community. This is why an ambitious programme such as México Conectado was highly needed.
Eutelsat, Elara and the Mexican government have been working together since 2012 to bring Internet connectivity via satellite to rural communities in south-eastern Mexico via the Ministry of Communications and Transportation’s México Conectado programme, a project that contributes to guarantying citizen’s constitutional right to access the Internet.
The programme’s most significant impact is in remote and difficult to reach locations, where the majority of the population does not have Internet access due to insufficient and even non-existent terrestrial infrastructure.
Overcoming challenges to bring connectivity to all
As part as the programme, Elara and Eutelsat were able to design a satellite solution responding to the demand for connectivity in south-eastern Mexico, spanning across the states of Campeche, Chiapas, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, and Yucatán,. The implementation of this solution was carried out in record time, helping connect over 3,000 sites in under 4 months during the largest phase of the project. Through this programme, a large number of users have gained online access in two ways: via wired Internet in locations such as hospitals, where communications are critical, and via Wi-Fi, which provides connectivity to users’ own devices.
The unique coverage of Mexico of the Eutelsat fleet and exceptional power levels of the EUTELSAT 115 West B satellite over the country have been key to reach the most remote locations, bringing important benefits to the local population.
“A few years ago we didn’t have any Internet but once we got tablets at the school, they installed it so that we could surf the web and do our homework,” says a 6th grade student from Benito Juárez Primary School in Ucum, Quintana Roo. “The Internet provides connectivity so that you can go online and discover new things, everything you don’t know.”
Going the extra mile in bridging the digital divide
Through the programme, the Ministry of Communications and Transportation has provided connectivity to schools, health centers, government buildings, community centers and other public spaces such as libraries, significantly improving the quality of life of the local population.
México Conectado helps students benefit from digital communications and learning tools and at the same time provides access to more and better pedagogical contents. In addition, it promotes the training of teachers in any part of the country.
“We are now able to do research. A computer has become a whole library. Any piece of information you could want is there,” notes the headmaster at Felipe Carrillo Puerto Rural Primary School in Sabidos, Quintana Roo.
With 100,000 sites across Mexico connected through the programme, the partnership between Elara, Eutelsat and the Ministry of Communications and Transportation has made an important contribution to bringing connectivity to all corners of Mexico. Both children and adults are benefiting from access to better services and education, thus leading to greater opportunities and a substantial impact on narrowing the digital divide.