Is high-speed Internet available in Costa Rica? It’s an important question because we live in a connected world. If we lose that connection, even in a beautiful place like Costa Rica, we feel isolated and uninformed. While it’s great to unplug and get away from it all once in a while – and Costa Rica is the place to do that – before long we feel the need to be in touch with our friends and family. We want to know what’s going on around us or back home. Moreover, many depend on a reliable high-speed Internet connection to make a living or accomplish other essential tasks.
So, does Costa Rica have high-speed Internet? In a word, yes. The days of sluggish, spotty dial-up Internet are a thing of the past. In the early days, the state-owned ICE (Institute of Costarican Electricity) enjoyed a telecommunications monopoly. That all changed when the Central American Free Trade Agreement went into effect in 2010. ICE’s monopoly was broken, and international telecommunications giants quickly established a foothold. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in fiber optics networks, towers, and other infrastructures. As a result, high speed Internet coverage reached more and more regions of Costa Rica. Today, a higher percentage (85.5%) of Costa Rica’s population has access to Internet than in any other country in Central America. That’s good news if you want to stay connected while visiting or living here.
Want to know who are the Internet service providers in Costa Rica? The forerunner, ICE, is still in the telecommunications business, but now they market their cell phone and Internet service under the brand name Kolbi. ICE’s biggest competitors in the cell phone service market are Claro and Movistar. In addition to cell service, both offer wireless residential Internet packages. Cable television operators have also entered the Internet service provider market. They include Cabletica, Tigo, and Telecable, and all offer packages that include high speed Internet, cable television channels, and a fixed VoIP phone.
I can attest first hand to the quality if high-speed internet in Costa Rica. I need the internet for my business and well, posting blogs like this. My provider is Cable Tica. I purchased a package with 100 megabytes of download speed including over 180 channels of digital TV. This entire package is only $80 USD per month. The service provided is pretty good as well, placed the order and 2 days later I had 2 different tech’s at the house setting it all up.
What Internet speeds are available, and how much do they cost? As of this writing the top speeds offered and their corresponding monthly rates (for Internet only) are as follows:
Internet service provider Download speed Monthly fee
Cabletica 100 megabytes $43
Cabletica 200 megabytes $60
Kolbi 50 megabytes $49
Telecable 100 megabytes $45
Telecable 300 megabytes $125
Tigo 100 megabytes $60
Claro 4G (14 megabytes) $49*
*Includes downloads of up to 150 Gigabytes per month
Claro uses its network of cell phone towers in conjunction with a residential receiver to provide Internet in homes. Unlike the other Internet service providers, Claro is wireless. Although it has slower download speeds than the others, it may be the only option in areas beyond the reach of cable networks. Satellite Internet service is another wireless option, but expect monthly fees to be several times that of cabled Internet service providers. All Internet service providers routinely offer speed upgrades at no additional cost. As their technology advances, they try to stay competitive. Commercial Internet service, offering greater speeds at a greater cost, is available in some areas. Speeds, prices, and coverage are constantly changing, so check for the latest offers in your area when you are ready to sign up.
Is the Internet reliable in Costa Rica? Blazing download speeds aren’t worth much if you constantly lose your connection. Fortunately, most users in Costa Rica report that their Internet is stable. Yes, just like everywhere else in the world, sometimes the internet goes down, it happens. Some even say it is a better–higher speed and more reliable connection– than they had back home and I can agree totally with that. So, rest assured that you can stay connected on high-speed Internet as you enjoy the wonders of Costa Rica.
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