Perhaps one of the few redeeming things about the pandemic is that it has accelerated the deployment and penetration of the internet and other communications technologies.
Eventually, due to the virtuality in activities like education and most jobs, the network established itself as a kind of requirement for modern life. This led to its use in practically all over the world, including Colombia.
Also read: How the pandemic has affected the quality of life of Colombians
Internet access has grown steadily since 2019, when 51.9% of Colombian households accessed the network through a home connection, according to the latest Quality of Life Survey published this Wednesday by DANE. Today that figure reaches 60.5%.
However, growth is mostly concentrated in the municipal capitals, where today this percentage is 70%, while in rural areas it is barely 28.8%. The good news, if you will, is that even in rural areas internet adoption has continued to increase, just nowhere near the speeds needed or seen in urban areas.
The following graphic provides a better overview of this scenario:
There is also an asymmetry in internet access by region, as Juan Daniel Oviedo, director of DANE, explains: only in 17 of the 32 departments do more than 50% of households access the internet from home. And even in places like Bogotá, Valle del Cauca, Risaralda, Tolima and Caldas, two-thirds of households are connected.
This is in sharp contrast to figures for departments such as Vichada and Vaupés, with penetration of 4.6% and 10.6% of their homes, respectively; In the first, the number of households with internet actually decreased between 2020 and 2021, contrary to the national trend.
Also read: Internet for everyone?: This is what the figures on Internet access in Colombia tell us
Device usage is growing
Likewise, the survey lets us know that the number of people (5 years and older) using mobile phones has also increased in connection with the pandemic, reaching 90.9% nationwide in 2021, while this figure was 86.3% in 2019. .
Although there are still differences between urban and rural areas in this regard, the gap is not as large as it is with the Internet at home.
The gap is observed again when we no longer look at cell phone use only, but at general access to computers, as shown by comparing the graph below with the previous one:
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