Students Back to Online Classes Despite Connectivity ChallengesBy MBN Staff | Mon, 01/11/2021 - 09:30
Today, more than 30 million students in Mexico returned to school after the winter break. With the exception of Campeche and Chiapas, which are in green, according to the epidemiological traffic light, all other states will continue with virtual classes. Ten months after the start of the pandemic in the country, however, internet access remains poor in many areas of the country.
Television remains one of the main links between brands, political parties, the government and the population. This was the elected channel by the federal government to provide access to education for most of the population through the Aprende en casa (Learn at Home) program. On Aug. 24 last year, Televisa, TV Azteca, Grupo Imagen and Grupo Multimedios began to broadcast educational content aimed at elementary level students.
Challenges remain, however. For high school and university levels, one of the main obstacles is still computer and internet access. According to INEGI, 92.5 percent of Mexican households have at least one television set but only 44.3 percent have a computer and 56.4 percent an internet connection. Meanwhile, at least 22 percent of mobile phone users in Mexico do not have access to mobile data, mostly in rural areas, as reported by the IFT last week.
In the report “Mobile Data Consumption Profiles: An Analysis of User Demand and Available Supply of Mobile Services 2019,” released a few days ago, the IFT revealed that the availability of fixed and mobile internet access in Mexico grew by 3.5 percent in 2019. However, 43.6 percent of households do not have access to this service, with lack of economic resources being the main reason. Between 2015 and 2019, Sinaloa, Sonora and Quintana Roo were the states that increased their internet access the most, while San Luis Potosi saw the greatest reduction.
On Dec. 16, Mexico's Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) announced an investment of MX$11 billion (US$550 million) in the ‘Internet for All’ program. The goal is to provide 200,000 free internet access points by 2025, extend network and broadband services to nearly 130,000 locations and adapt infrastructure to generate “a large data transport capacity” in five phases, CFE’s telecommunications subsidiary said in a statement.