Retirees and others will now have more Internet options in Costa Rica

If president Laura Chinchilla has her way, Costa Rica will be one big Wi-Fi zone, which means free wireless internet for everyone.

The free wireless is included in the Plan Nacional de Desarollo (National Development Plan) 2011-2014, as one of the government’s priorities in science and technology. The goal is to have a wireless network that allows the public permanent access to Internet and to develop a free network at the highest speed possible. The idea is to have a wireless connectivity layer, for example, for young people in schools and colleges, for tourists and for small and medium enterprises. It would be a wide band but at a speed that does not compete with commercial services,.

Panama began its free wireless internet access development project last year, bringing to everyone a mixed Wi-Max, a high speed and long range signal, while Wi-Fi is lower in speed and range. In Panama, an free internet signal is available in public places like health offices, municipalities and libraries, to name a few, offering a connection between 512 Kbps and 1 Mbps.

On my monthly relocation/retirement tours and at the many lectures where I speak I am always asked by future residents and retirees about how the Internet works here. I explain that the service is very good and allows people like I to remain in contact with friends and relatives abroad and even run a web-based international business from here. With the coming of universal FREE Wi-Fi the excuse of not having Internet access should not longer deter anyone from living their retirement dream in Costa Rica.

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