Chile’s Lipigas creates internet provider in Colombia

Chilean gas distributor Lipigas has created a new company in Colombia to offer internet services to residents of small and medium-sized cities.

The company, called Chilco Net, hopes to offer the service as a complement to network gas supplies.

Chilco Net has capital of 7.4bn Colombian pesos (US$1.9mn) and is a subsidiary of Chilco Distribuidora de Gas y Energía, a subsidiary of Empresas Lipigas in Colombia, according to a statement sent to the financial market commission in Chile, where Lipigas is listed.

The company has identified this new business opportunity because, although internet penetration in Colombia has risen in recent years, there is still room for further growth, the firm said in a release. Lipigas said that internet services are present in 48% of Colombian households, but in small towns penetration is only 18%.

In a recent presentation, Colombian ICT minister, Ligia Valderrama Rojas, pointed out that the Colombian telecommunications market ended the second quarter of 2021 with 33mn mobile internet accesses and 8.2mn fixed accesses.

As of end-March this year, the country had fixed internet penetration of 16.1%, according to data from the ICT ministry.

Meanwhile, at the end of June, the capital district of Bogotá, has 27.5 fixed internet accesses per 100 inhabitants, leading internet penetration figures in the country.

In the last three years, the departments with the highest growth in fixed internet connections were in the interior of Colombia, such as Guainía (132%), Amazonas (123%), Arauca (95%), Vichada (59%) and Caquetá (49%).

Of Colombia’s 34 departments, only four of them have fixed internet penetration of higher than 20%.

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