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A man in a rural area checks his cell phone. A man in a rural area checks his cell phone.

New program will deliver internet service to 4.8 million in marginalized communities

The program aims to connect more than half the 8.3 million Mexicans without internet

More than 7,500 marginalized, mainly rural communities that currently lack internet service are set to be connected thanks to a federal government program.

The Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation (SICT) will deliver internet services to some 4.8 million people in 7,537 communities via the 2021-22 Social Coverage Program (PCS).

The communities are among more than 77,000 locations across Mexico where there is no internet coverage, according to the SICT, affecting 8.3 million people.

Of the communities that will benefit from the PCS, 99.3% are in rural areas and almost 60% have large indigenous or Afro-Mexican populations. More than 1,300 of the communities have high or very high rates of marginalization and 376 are the administrative centers of the municipalities in which they are located.

According to the SICT, the installation of internet services in the communities will reduce inequality and help people stay connected to each other.

77,219 communities lack internet access (in red) while 112,269 communities have internet access (in green), according to the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation (SICT).
In Mexico, 77,219 communities lack internet access (shown in red) while 112,269 communities have internet access (in green), according to the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation. SICT

“The health emergency in Mexico generated by [COVID-19] underlined the essential role of telecommunications, in particular internet service,” the ministry said.

“As a tool of public policy, the 2021-22 PCS will contribute to the reduction of the digital divide in Mexico … [and] reduce the negative effects of the pandemic on the most unprotected social and economic sectors.”

With reports from Reforma 

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