Fibre reaches new heights in Bolivia


The highest city in the world is to benefit from fibre broadband connectivity thanks to the deployment of a GPON broadband network.

Slovenia-based Iskratel said it will deploy a GPON optical broadband network in the Bolivian city of Potosí in collaboration with its Latin-American partner, Teleserv Group Bolivia, for local service provider Cotap Ltda.

Iskratel will implement its SI3000 Lumia GPON Optical Line Terminals (OLTs), along with Innbox G85 an Innbox G74 Optical Network Terminals (ONTs) at customer premises.

"Bringing fibre connectivity to the people of Potosí, the highest city in the world, fills us with profound pride. We were able to achieve this together with the support and help from our partners and friends at Cotap and Teleserv," said Svjetlana Kalaba, director of business unit broadband at Iskratel.

"We truly are taking reliable and ultra-fast connectivity to the summit," Kalaba added.

Located 4,090 metres above sea level, Potosí was a silver mining region, which in 1650 had a population to rival that of London or Rome. However, in tandem with the silver industry the population declined rapidly in the 1700s. As of 2020 the city, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was home to a mere 141,251 people – and internet speeds have long caused them headaches.

The latest insight from Ookla ranks Bolivia 111 out of 139 countries globally for its internet speeds with an average 18.36 Mbps download for mobile and 21.20 Mbps download for fixed broadband connections.

Juan Francisco Flores, legal representative of Cotap Ltda, said: "In Potosí, a city with such fascinating history, life has never been easy. The deployment of an optical broadband network not only delivers new connectivity to our residents and businesses, but also opens up an array of business opportunities that the city and its people have not had possible before.”