Why do Hondurans pay for the most expensive internet in Latin America?

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To access an internet of 60 megabits per second (Mbps) or more, Hondurans pay an average of US$71.18 per month, equivalent to 1,757 lempiras (HNL) in local currency, being the country where this service is the most expensive in Latin America, according to the prices provided by the Numbeo platform.

According to specialists consulted by Bloomberg Línea, Honduras still has to resolve the situation of the Honduran Telecommunications Company (Hondutel), a state company that has been experiencing economic problems for several years and a series of announced plans to try to correct its finances that remain unsuccessful.

Due to this crisis, most of the fixed internet, broadband and television services are served almost exclusively by the private operators Claro and Tigo, and some 60 cable companies.

, Why do Hondurans pay for the most expensive internet in Latin America?
Five out of every 100 Hondurans are fixed internet subscribers, says Conatel (Photo internet reproduction)

“There are many internet provider companies in the country. In general terms, none, in my opinion, still has the standards of quality, coverage, stability, and price that can really help us Hondurans to be competitive. This is an issue that needs to be improved,” said economist and consultant José Luis Moncada.

For the also former president of the National Banking and Insurance Commission (CNBS), the high price that Hondurans pay for the service “is worrying, because it is related to quality. If you pay dearly, but for example the internet is not sustainable, it is a double blow”.

INTERNET ACCESS IN HONDURAS

As of September 2022, five million Hondurans, equivalent to half the population, were mobile broadband internet subscribers, according to the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel), the sector’s regulatory body.

Official statistics show a context that organizations such as the World Bank have detected in the rest of the region: mobile broadband through smartphones is the main means by which households access the Internet.

Meanwhile, as of the third quarter of 2022, only about 430,262 Hondurans, that is, 5 out of every 100 people were subscribers to fixed broadband internet.

For Moncada, the State, through Conatel, “should promote and generate the improvement of Internet access, at a time when the world is globalizing.”

The country is still pending the assignment of new spectrum for mobile services and the analog blackout, a promise that was set for January 1, 2020 but that, due to the covid-19 pandemic, has been put on hold.

In Honduras, subscribers for the fixed internet service are reported in 85% of the 298 municipalities.

In this regard, for Senén Villanueva, rector by law at the University of San Pedro Sula, “apart from the fact that broadband needs to be expanded, it also needs to reach all corners of the country.”

With information from Bloomberg

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