Insights | San Andrés already has better connectivity

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San Andrés already has better connectivity

With the entry into operation of a fiber optic cable for that region and the approval in the Congress of the Republic of an important bill that regulates electronic commerce “e-commerce”, the department of San Andrés took a step this week fundamental towards the objective of advancing its connectivity with the world.

On Monday, December 13, the Claro company announced the fiber optic connection for the island of San Andrés thanks to the entry into operation of its submarine cable AMX-1 which, with an extension of 727 kilometers and a cost of 15 million dollars , will make possible the implementation of more modern telecommunications services for the inhabitants of the island.

The event in which the connection was made official was attended by President Iván Duque; the Minister of Information and Communication Technologies, Carmen Ligia Valderrama; the Governor of San Andrés, Everth Julio Hawkins and the president of Claro Colombia, Carlos Zenteno, among others.

“We are taking a huge step in terms of technology by connecting San Andrés to the world through this submarine fiber optic cable, which will bring unprecedented benefits to the island’s inhabitants and to the tourism, commercial, health, education and government sectors. ”Said the Mexican Carlos Zenteno.

With this new connection, San Andrés will have access to a broadband network, coverage with 4G and 4.5G technologies, increased mobile internet speed, strengthening of interconnectivity between the islands of the archipelago (Providencia and Santa Catalina), higher speed internet access and penetration, improvement in tourism, commerce, health and education services, better service rates, and strengthening of the ICT infrastructure.

“With the ICT Ministry and work with private companies today we deliver the submarine cable, which exponentially improves internet service. It was our promise and we kept it. This is quality of life and benefits such as telemedicine and virtual education ”, said President Iván Duque who, in addition to the inauguration of the new submarine cable, was in San Andrés and Providencia to supervise the reconstruction work after the passage of Hurricane Iota. In turn, Minister Valderrama reported that as of December 15, 2021, the installation of 500 Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) solutions will be implemented in the municipality of Providencia through Teleislas.

Valderrama added that, since February 12 of this year, 20 Wi-Fi zones are in service in San Andrés and, since February 18, 10 in Providencia; points that have improved free internet access and that provide 24-hour connection to the community. In addition, he presented the advances of the NavegaTIC program, which has delivered 758 SIM Cards with free voice and mobile data to 694 students and 64 female entrepreneurs living in the archipelago.

The minister also highlighted the efforts made between the ICT Ministry and the San Andrés Governor’s Office that made it possible to connect 660 homes with high-speed internet and that provided more than 3,000 computers for the children of Providencia.

Regulation of the “e-commerse in San Andrés”

Also this week, the Congress of the Republic approved PL 399/2020 Chamber 385 / 2021S that “partially modifies Law 915 of 2004 and regulates electronic commerce” e-commerce in the department of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina.

The fundamental objective of this bill, which passed to presidential approval, is to provide tools through which the economy of the Archipelago can reach a level of development substantially higher than the current one. It also seeks to improve the institutional environment in which businesses are created and operated on the island.

The project establishes, in two of its six articles, measures to promote electronic commerce:

Article 2. Add article 12-A to Law 915 of 2004 “By which the Border Statute for the Economic and Social Development of the Archipelago Department of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina is issued”, which will read as follows:

Article 12-A. Shipping of goods from the free port to the national customs territory through the implementation of electronic commerce “E-Commerce”. Without prejudice to the obligations established in Law 1480 of 2011 and concordant regulations, merchants, duly established in the Archipelago Department, may send to the rest of the national customs territory the products they sell over the Internet or any other form of non-face-to-face commerce via traffic. postal, express shipments, cargo, or by any other transportation system by presenting the electronic purchase invoice, in non-commercial quantities.

Article 5. The Ministry of Information Technologies and Communications or the entity acting in its place will carry out the necessary actions to provide access to telecommunications and promote the development of the digital ecosystem in the archipelago, so that this law can be used by merchants and residents of the Department of San Andrés. Likewise, it will coordinate with the other entities of the national order, the measures that may be necessary to facilitate access to virtual training on employment, entrepreneurship and virtual commerce; as well as the use of technological tools to the inhabitants of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina. For which it may establish agreements with public or private entities in order to guarantee this type of offer, training and internet coverage.