Hispasat launches the #enREDatupueblo contest to bring Internet to remote areas in Spain

Spanish satellite and telecommunications operator HISPASAT has launched the Conéctate project with the aim of helping to bridge the digital divide by using satellites to bring broadband connectivity to remote or sparsely populated areas of Spain where there is no Internet access or poor quality access. In this context, HISPASAT has launched the “#enREDatupueblo” contest, with its commitment to guaranteeing free Internet access via satellite with a speed of 30 Mbps for one year to the winning town. The contest is open to towns or singular population entities (ESP) in Spain with less than 500 inhabitants and without Internet access or poor quality access. Any town resident, association or entity can enter their town as long as they are endorsed by their town council. Since the satellite connection prize will be enjoyed by all, participating towns that are supported by as many residents and local organisations as possible will be positively assessed. To enter the contest, participants should creatively express the benefits they will receive with the arrival of Internet in their towns. They can send material of any nature and format, in analogue or digital version (photographs, videos, songs, collages, written or oral narrations, etc.), which provide several examples of how this connectivity will improve different aspects of life in the town: health, education, culture, business, communication or personal life, among others. The town that wins the contest will receive free Internet access via satellite for one year for its residents, homes and businesses, as well as its installation and servicing. Projects may be submitted until 30 April. A selection committee will choose the three finalists and they will be announced on 17 May, coinciding with Internet Day. From that date until 27 May, social network users and those who visit the Conéctate project website can vote for the winning town. The final decision will be announced on 29 May. Despite technological advances, there are still 2,682 remote or sparsely populated towns in Spain that are subject to digital isolation because they do not have Internet access with speeds of at least 10 Mbps, according to the report on “Broadband coverage in Spain in mid-2016” presented by the Secretary of State for Information Society and Digital Agenda. Furthermore, in nearly half of the Spanish towns (4,037 towns), fixed broadband does not reach speeds of 30 Mbps, which the European Digital Agency established as an objective for 100% of the population for the year 2020, and in nearly 600,000 homes, this connection has a speed of less than 2 Mbps. This impedes the economic and social development of these areas, with the resulting loss of opportunities for the people living there. Aware of this problem and with its firm commitment to equal opportunities to Internet access, HISPASAT has launched this contest with three specific objectives: to bridge the digital divide, to make society aware of the advantages offered by satellites as a technology to access broadband and to make the Digital Agenda part of the political debate. To achieve this, the “#enREDatupueblo” contest seeks to involve residents and governments so that together they highlight a problem that hinders the economic and social development of thousands of Spanish towns and offer solutions that will help overcome it. The satellite service provider Eurona has joined this initiative, being responsible for managing the final provision of services to the client, including logistics, coordination of the facilities and post-sale services. Furthermore, FENITEL (Spanish National Federation of Telecommunications Installers) will participate by collaborating in the installation of antennas in the winning town.


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