More and more people in the world connect to the internet via their cell phone, but the experience could not be more different if you travel to Costa Rica or Uruguay yourself. The internet is one of the most important factors for travelers. With the explosion of mobile devices, the need to be connected grew exponentially. In addition, with map and suggestion apps -such as Yelp or TripIt- a trip is more efficient with an internet connection.
Uruguay has the highest connection speed in Latin America: 10.21 megabits per second, according to the latest measurement of the British company Open Signal, while Costa Rica is located at the other end of the spectrum, with a speed of just 2.55 Mbps.
With 26.3 megabits per second, South Korea is the country with the best Internet connection and navigation, according to a report by the company Akamai (a corporation that provides a platform for global content delivery on the Internet and the distribution of applications).
In comparison to South Korea, Colombia reaches just 4.8 megabits per second, that is, 21.5 megabits, slower Internet browsing. South Korean hyper connectivity is no surprise. This has been the result of the policies that the Government has implemented for more than 20 years, in which the broadband industry and the construction of a robust infrastructure for high-speed internet was promoted and prioritised.
Following them in the ranking is Hong Kong, Norway, Sweden and Singapore. For its part, Colombia occupies one of the last places, with the number 96. As for the countries of Latin America, the world ranking has recorded real backlogs of infrastructure in the network, which are located far from the top. The best ranked was Chile, which with 7.3 Mbps average speed, reaches the 64th place worldwide.
It is followed by Mexico with 65, Uruguay (67), Brazil (87), Peru (89), Ecuador (90), Panama (91), Argentina (92), Colombia (96), Costa Rica (109), Venezuela (134), and Paraguay (144).
In Taiwan, for example, when entering the country, you only have to register your passport to have access to Wi-Fi on the island.
The same mechanism works in cities such as Tokyo or Kyoto, where tourists receive a card to enter the Internet for 14 days. In both cases, the tourism offices handle the issue.
Europe also has several cities connected. London is covered by several operators, although the Sky cloud has more than 16,000 points. The capital of Estonia, Tallinn, thanks to the organization Wi-Fi.ee, has coverage throughout the city.
Although many of the points are under the control of private entities, several were installed thanks to public-private partnerships. The Estonian model can be an example to follow for other countries.
As a curious case, the island in the Pacific of Niue has coverage throughout its territory. In 2003, it was the first state to have Wi-Fi in the whole country. In Colombia, there are also several places that offer free connection.
Bogotá, for example, offers the service in 10 points of the city, and -according to the High District Council of ICT- more than 180,000 people benefit from it. Bucaramanga, meanwhile, has wireless connectivity in 22 of its parks.
So, if you want to travel to a destination, check all the connectivity options. In San Francisco, for example, Google donated resources so parks have options for visitors to connect to the internet.