Chilean internet connectivity increases 62% in 2020

Chilean internet connectivity increased 62% by the end of 2020

19 April 2021 | Natalie Bannerman

Cover

SUBTEL, Chile’s telecoms regulator, has published the finding of its annual market statistics report.

According to the SUBTEL statistical series, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the growing reliance on teleworking and online education, the country saw a 62% increase in fibre optic connections by the end of 2020, representing 40.9 % of total connections.

“The statistical series show how essential Internet connectivity has become for people, especially one year after the start of the pandemic in our country. In this sense, we see strong growth in residential fixed internet access (12.5%), the highest growth in 11 years, where it reached the highest historical percentage of participation (90.1%),” said Gloria Hutt (pictured),  Minister of Transport and Telecommunications, Chile.

“On the other hand, it is important to emphasise that this situation is creating a new digital dynamic for people, academia and companies at the same time, so we predict that this increase in connections will continue, and so we are carrying out different initiatives to strengthen the country's digital infrastructure.”

The figures are in line with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report published in February 2021, which showed growth in fibre optics in Chile had reached 37.6% over a 12month period.

This has been driven by public-private investments in support of projects like the expansion of Fibra Óptica Nacional and Fibra Óptica Austral’s networks.

“The massive consumption of data will continue to grow exponentially, which represents a challenge for all actors in the sector to continue working on the implementation of a robust digital infrastructure,” said Pamela Gidi, the Undersecretary of Telecommunications.

“In this sense, projects such as the National Optical Fiber, Austral Fiber Optic, among others, have allowed connections to this technology to increase to 62% at the end of 2020, widely exceeding the average of the OECD countries.”

In addition, internet traffic increased 58% between 2019 and 2020, while residential fixed lined connectivity grew by 12.5%, the highest growth since 2009. Lastly, SUBTEL observed a 90.4% increase in mobile internet.

As of December 2020, Chile has 55.2 million telecoms services, up from 54 million in 2019.

“It is interesting to observe the growth of 37.6% in mobile internet traffic between 2019 and 2020, and how 4G access has increased, representing 90.4% of total internet accesses mobile,” said the Minister of Transport and Telecommunications, in a statement.

“This last figure speaks of the rapid adaptation capacity that users have in the face of new mobile technologies, which provides a good perspective regarding the deployment of 5G in Chile.”