SANTIAGO – A big issue has been clear for the last year, with the pandemic that is keeping everyone confined at home: the digital divide, which refers to the gap between different groups that have unlimited access to technologies, and those who don’t. The Municipality of Pedro Aguirre Cerda and Mundo Telecommunications have made an alliance that will provide eight organizations located in La Victoria to have Internet connections for free.
Internet access has become an essential good over the years, and especially now. According to a study made by the Telecommunications Sub-Secretariat Office, nine out of ten homes in Chile have an internet connection. However, this can range from a good, reliable internet connection, to a very slow, cell phone data plan connection. And even if those numbers are good, they’re not necessarily well-distributed across the country. Another study made by the same organization showed that 23 districts in Chile have alarming levels of disconnection, especially in rural and more vulnerable areas, such as La Pintana, Cerro Navia, Lo Espejo, Hualpén, Lota, Chillán, Linares, among others.
This is why the Municipality of Pedro Aguirre Cerda and Mundo Telecommunications have joined in an alliance to give unlimited internet connection to eight organizations in the area of La Victoria. Among the organizations receiving this benefit are the Nuestra Señora de La Victoria Parrish, and La Bicicleta Recreation Center. This will benefit the many people living there who have been excluded, not being able to access the many tools and information that this technology offers.
During 2020, internet connections through fiber-optic internet were doubled, however, there are still many places where having an internet connection is considered a luxury, especially in rural areas. Working on lowering the digital divide is essential, in order to avoid possible social exclusion.
Pedro Aguirre Cerda is one of the poorest municipalities in Chile and also one of the worst hit by the pandemic. Inside the municipality, La Victoria, known for its resistance against the dictatorship, is one of the poorer neighborhoods, where basic needs such as internet are a rarity.
Javiera is from Santiago de Chile, she is studying journalism at Universidad de Chile, since 2017 and doing her internship at Chile Today.