Mon. Dec 4th, 2023
Progress in Connecting Rural Areas in Argentina with Internet Access

As part of the Mi Pueblo Conectado program, computer equipment was delivered to nine towns in the province of Río Negro in October. This complements the installation of satellite internet antennas in ten villages across the province. With this, Río Negro became the ninth province to complete all planned actions of Mi Pueblo Conectado. Other provinces where the installation goals have been reached are La Rioja, Chaco, Santa Cruz, Tierra del Fuego, Santiago del Estero, Catamarca, Formosa, and Salta.

One of the 188 towns where ARSAT’s satellite antennas were installed is Clemente Onelli in Río Negro. The commissioner, Víctor Miguel, explains how the arrival of connectivity has improved the lives of the inhabitants. Previously, these families had to walk for about 45 minutes to School 197 to send a message because it was the only place in the area with internet access. In winter, this became even more complex due to snow, which could triple the mentioned times.

Thanks to the internet connectivity provided by the satellite antenna and the use of solar energy to power it, financed by the Clemente Onelli Development Commission, the families can now be connected all day. They can communicate with their relatives within the province and across the country, something that may seem insignificant to those who have internet access all day but is crucial for those who previously had no connectivity. For example, it is useful when they need to alert others about a health issue.

In October of this year, the initial installations of VSAT antennas and Access Points were completed in Clemente Onelli and eight other towns in Río Negro as part of the Mi Pueblo Conectado program. The contracted service plan, provided by Innovación Pública through ARSAT, offers a connection speed of 30 Mbps for download, 3 Mbps for upload, with a data consumption limit of 100 GB.

In conclusion, in the past five months, 47% of the planned installations have been completed, and $670 million has been transferred to the provinces for the acquisition of computer equipment. The selection of the towns included in Mi Pueblo Conectado program was based on the Registry of Local Governments (ReFeGLo) and the Federal Index of Territorial Inequity (IFIT) provided by the Municipal Observatory, under the Ministry of Interior’s Subsecretariat of Municipal Relations. These tools helped identify 370 towns in urgent need of internet access solutions. The contribution of the provinces through the Secretariat of Public Innovation was also considered.