DR’s ICT project for broadband access wins ITU award

The Dominican government was awarded a leading telecommunication prize during the World Summit on the Information Society Prizes 2023.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations specialized agency for information and communication technologies, organizes the event.

The Dominican government won for the “Banda Ancha Para Todos” program implemented by the Indotel. The award was in Category 1 on the role of governments in the promotion of ICTs for country development.

Banda Ancha para Todos is a project in which the Dominican Telecommunications Institute (Indotel) deployed 1,080 public access WiFi networks across the entire country. Those WiFi were deployed in all public higher education campuses, over 90% of public hospitals, all public transportation systems, public parks and plazas, public offices that offer citizen services, public libraries, among others.

The effort was carried out in collaboration with the three main internet service providers (ISP) of the DR — Claro, Altice and Wind. Each ISP was responsible for the deployment, operation and maintenance of the 1,080 networks for three years, at zero-cost for the government. Also, because of the experience and know-how of those ISPs, the entire deployment was made in just 18 months.

The network has provided hundreds of thousands of Dominicans, free of charge, broadband connectivity wherever they are located, in each of the country’s 158 municipalities.

In 2020, the network averaged 282,209 unique users, with highs of 550,000 users at the start of the year, and lows of 65,000 when the pandemic started. Those users, for 2020 alone, accounted for over 1,100 Terabytes of information which we estimated resulted in savings of over USD$4.9 million for those citizens that previously would have had to pay buy prepaid internet packages. The same network also provided invaluable support during the Covid-19 pandemic, allowing citizens to communicate with family members, carry on education and job requirements.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) was founded to facilitate international connectivity in communications networks.

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16 March 2023