Viasat (VSAT.Q) closes digital divide in Mexico so everyone can see Mexican cat videos

Mexico
12/11/2019

On the whole, the effect of the internet on our quality of life is generally considered to be a positive. It’s closed massive communication gaps in space and time, it’s opened up whole new vistas in commerce, and without it, I’d probably be driving a busted up forklift right now, so I really have little to complain about. But I will anyway, and so will you and now, thanks to the global communications company, Viasat (VSAT.Q), so can the millions of people in Mexico, who were once left without reliable high speed and quality internet access, but aren’t now.

Customers will have access to a home satellite internet service with speeds in selection areas of 50 Megabits per second (Mbps), letting them enjoy the same hours wasted playing World of Warcraft, instragramming their meals and laughing at cat videos as the rest of us.

“There are still millions of people within Mexico that are without access to a high-quality, reliable broadband internet connection—we’re here to change that. We are excited to help close this digital gap in Mexico and connect people to everything the internet has to offer. Our new internet service offerings are priced right for the Mexican consumer and will offer the fastest connections with dependable service quality to meet their everyday online needs,” said Lisa Scalpone, vice president of Latin America residential services at Viasat.

More than porn and cat memes

It’s called the digital divide in academic circles, and measures the distance both economically and culturally between regions with and without internet access. On average, regions without internet access tend to be impoverished. They lack resources, access to information and are effectively cut off from a large amount of the rest of the world.

The United States and China create the vast majority of wealth in the digital economy, according to the UN digital economy study. The two countries account for 75% of all patents related to blockchain technologies, 50% of global spending on the “Internet of Things” (IoT), more than 75% of the cloud computing market, and as much as 90% per cent of the market capitalization value of the world’s 70 largest digital platform companies.

The rest of the world, particularly countries in Africa and Latin America, are trailing considerably behind, and this trajectory is likely to continue, further contributing to rising inequality, said UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in a foreword to the report.

“We must work to close the digital divide. Where more than half the world has limited, or no access to the Internet. Inclusivity is essential to building a digital economy that delivers for all.”

Viasat is doing that by deploying its Community Wi-Fi hotspot service across Mexico, using satellite-enabled hotspots to deliver affordable internet service to remote communities. The company has previously collaborated with local partners in Mexico on the ‘Internet para Todos’ program, connecting government buildings, federal clinics and schools to the internet over Viasat’s systems.

Viasat’s residential plans in Mexico

Viasat’s new service is launching today in select areas and will be rolled out across the country in early-2020. Plans will have download speeds up to 50 Mbps in certain areas—the fastest satellite internet speeds available in the country. In addition, Viasat’s Mexico residential plans are competitively priced, and include unique features, such as:

  • Unlimited chat and browsing
  • Unlimited night zone usage from 2:00 am to 7:00 am local time

So let me be the first to welcome our Mexican neighbours to the wider internet, and that I look forward to seeing what you’re eating for dinner, and of course, your cat videos. But please, let’s put off finding the Mexican Justin Bieber.  We have one of our own and one is more than enough.

—Joseph Morton

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