Published Thursday, April 8, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
The Rural Development Institute signed an agreement with the company Coopesantos to improve the infrastructure that allows access to telecommunications in rural areas.
The Coopesantos company provides electricity, internet, cable and telephone services to rural areas in the southern zone of San José Province.
According to the institute, with a budget of $1,858,106 financed with funds from the company and the institute, high technology equipment will be purchased and installed to provide better internet service, to places that historically have had a lack of internet access.
With the improvements, it is estimated that better internet access will be provided to 11,300 people from rural communities such as:
• Cantons of Dota, Tarrazú and León Cortés in the southern zone of San José Province.
• Cantons of Cartago Centro, Oreamuno, El Guarco and La Unión in Cartago Province.
• Cantons of Acosta, Desamparados and Aserrí in the southern-east zone of San José Province.
• Cantons of Puriscal, Mora, Santa Ana, Aserrí, Alajuelita, Escazú in the southern-west zone of San José Province.
The project, expected to be implemented this year, seeks to cover 1,100 square kilometers of those territories.
"This project becomes a model that we will seek to replicate in other territories where internet access has historically been difficult or non-existent," Harys Regidor, president of the Rural Development Institute said.
This is the second project the government has announced this year to improve internet service in rural areas.
In February, at the Crestones rangers base shelter located in the Chirripó National Park, two high-range wireless antennas allowing for free Wi-Fi across the park were installed.
Chirripó is the highest mountain in the country with an elevation of 3,821 meters (12,536 feet). The mountain encompasses the provinces of San José, Limón and Cartago.
The Institute of Electricity, ICE, provided the antennas for park rangers and visitors to communicate in real-time from Crestones Base, without having to travel to more populated areas to search for an internet signal.
Internet access will allow park rangers to immediately call for support in case of forest fires, accidents or people missing, among others.
The installation of the antennas began in August 2020, when engineers from the institute with the help of park rangers carried equipment on their backs to ascend Chirripó to find the best place for an effective signal.
The internet signal comes from a radio base installed in the canton of San Isidro, which is linked to an advanced internet system. The distance that the signal travels to Base Crestones is 40 kilometers, the institute said.
In October 2020, after having been closed for eight months, due to the restriction measures ordered by the government to try to stop the advancement of covid-19, Chirripó was finally reopened.
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