Mexico City is the most connected city on Earth, according to Guinness World Records. The capital city won the title thanks to its 21,500 free internet access points, beating out Moscow in second place, Seoul in third and Tokyo in fourth.
“Technology does not make sense if it isn’t for the benefit of the inhabitants, especially the most marginalized of our city,” said Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum.
The government also announced that it would be extending the free Wi-Fi access points to a number of locations, including public elementary and middle schools and city universities.
The city’s explosion of free Wi-Fi access began three years ago, at which time the city only had 98 public internet hotspots available, said José Antonio Peña Merino, the head of the Digital Public Innovation Agency. Peña said the initiative cost residents “zero pesos.”
“On the contrary, over two years we have saved 864 million [pesos] in city internet contracts,” Peña said, or US $41.8 million at today’s exchange rate.
The city’s free internet network is provided by Telmex, the telecommunications giant owned by Carlos Slim, Latin America’s richest man according to Forbes magazine.
At the thousands of free internet access points, there are 2.8 million connections every week using 3.3 terabytes of data, the equivalent of 58 million high definition videos or 17.5 million photos, said Rodolfo Alberto Sánchez García, the commercial director of Telmex.
In 2020, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI) found more than 84 million Mexicans were internet users. In urban areas, 78.3% of residents accessed the internet, compared to 50.3% of rural area residents.
With reports from El País