The growth of Internet users in Mexico from 2017 to 2018, despite increasing, was only 1.9 percent, according to Inegi data.
Internet costs slow Mexican connectivity
In 2018, 65.8 percent of the Mexican population, which is more than six years old, has access to the Internet; However, although there was an increase in penetration, the figure is lower than that registered two years ago, according to figures from the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (Inegi).
The National Survey on Availability and Use of Information Technologies in Homes (ENDUTIH) carried out by Inegi, states that only from 2016 to 2017, the growth of the population connected to the Internet grew by 4.4 percent. The figure from 2017 to 2018, despite increasing, did not grow at such an accelerated rate, since it was 1.9 percent.
In this regard, Gabriel Contreras, commissioner president of the Federal Institute of Telecommunications (Ifetel) explained that the slowdown is explained by the economic gap and because it is increasingly costly because of the deployment of last mile infrastructure.
"One of the reasons why users said they do not have an Internet connection is because of lack of resources, the economic gap is not alien to digital."
The Inegi explained that the most common devices to access the Internet are smartphones (preference of 92.7 percent), laptops (32.6) and fixed computers (32 percent). Both Contreras and Salma Jalife, the undersecretary of Communications and technological development, agreed that there is still a long way to go and the information provided by the survey helps to make decisions and implement public policy to bring greater connectivity to marginal places.
Due to the budget cut by the austerity policy of the president, Andrés Manuela López Obrador, the Inegi announced at the beginning of the year the cancellation of ENDUTIH along with other projects. In this regard, both the Ifetel, the SCT and the Inegi said they are holding rigorous talks to give continuity to the indicators that derive from the survey.
Julio Santaella, president of Inegi, explained that work is underway to have the survey for this year and, although he announced that he would not have the same coverage, it is necessary to generate information related to Internet penetration for business decision-making, as of social development.