Government’s digital telecom plan would cover just about everyone

The telecom ministry announced an ambitious plan Monday to connect most Costa Rican homes to the Internet, particularly the homes of the poor.

The proposal is part of a national telecom development plan that also includes moving the country toward digital television.

The government said that the Internet could be used to reduce poverty, provide jobs and give citizens more ways to interact with officials.

The plan speaks of universal access and says that resources can come from the Fondo Nacional de Telecomunicaciones. That money comes from the assessments on telecom providers.

The plan is to reduce the digital divide that the government sees in the use of digital technologies.

The project also suggests realigning the use of the radio spectrum, including that now used by radio. The proposal is to also put public spaces, schools and entire communities within reach of digital access.

The plan also said that the state would be converted into a virtual space for the exchange of information, the submission of government paperwork online and the reduction of the environmental impact of telecommunications.

The plan received a chilly reception from the Spanish-language daily La Nación, which said today that the government plan lacks specifics.

Early government officials said the project would cost in excess of $100 million.

The plan was put together by the Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología y Telecomunicaciones.

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