Internet services in Colombia

How and where to get online

Internet services in Colombia

Broadband is widely available from many Internet providers. Pre-paid and contractual plans can be taken out and more WiFi hotspots are available than ever as Colombia’s Internet usage booms.

The Colombian Internet boom

Internet usage has greatly increased during the last few years, with around 25 million Colombians connecting to the Internet. With the emergence of ADSL access in Colombia in 2001, a commercial war was sparked between major telecoms enterprises, mainly in Bogota and Bucaramanga. The first two cities to receive Internet services, which created competitive, cut-price Internet tariffs.

However, major cities such as Cali, Barranquilla and Cartagena only had one ADSL provider, blocking out other competitors to the Internet telecoms market. Thus, the lack of competitors made Internet access in these cities more expensive than in Bogota or Bucaramanga until 2007.

Nowadays, Telefónica Colombia, one of the major Internet providers operating under the brand name Movistar, has extended its services to all major cities.

Cybercafes and free WiFi

Colombia is brimming with cyber cafes dotted all over major cities. Even smaller towns generally have at least one Internet cafe, but in rural areas connections will be harder to find.

Connections are generally fast and cheap - expect to only pay about COP$2,500 per hour (about €1!) If you don't have a Colombian ID card, getting an Internet contract with a provider will not be feasible, but luckily Colombia has numerous free WiFi zones in major cities.

Internet providers

If you want to set up a broadband connection, there are several options for receiving broadband in Colombia. Both Claro and Movistar are the main providers that offer plans.

With Claro you can choose speeds from 1MB to 50MB depending on your usage. Set up comes with a free WiFi-modem and you can access special WiFi zones belonging to the company in selected shopping centres and cafes. Claro offers highly competitive offers, especially if bought with their TV and Mobile phone plans. Click here  to receive a quote relative to your usage and receive tailored information about the plans and promotional offers available.

Movistar also offers Internet services, with a variety of speeds from COP$47 a month with tax included and with free installation of the modem. Special packages can be obtained which can include mobile Internet and fixed landline calls. To see how much a plan would cost instantly, click here  to use their quote tool.

For those who come to Colombia without a cedula (national identity card) both companies offer a pre-paid 3G dongle, which works like an antennae and can be plugged into the USB port of your laptop or PC to provide Internet on the go. Both Movistar and Claro provide dongles for around US$45 for around 2 weeks worth of browsing.

Further reading

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