Billionaire Slim tackles Mexico digital divide with Zocalo internet village

Mexico City’s historic Zocalo turns into an internet village to celebrate the latest in cutting-edge technology, with the support of Mexican tycoon Carlos Slim.

MEXICO CITY, MEXICO (JULY 10, 2015) (REUTERS) – Tech heads flocked to Mexico City’s Zocalo on Friday (July 10) for the start of Digital Village festivities in the capital to celebrate the latest in cutting-edge internet technology.

Sponsored by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s Telcel telecommunications company, the event allows Mexicans to take advantage of the tycoon’s new 4G network for a series of workshops in the areas of employment, education and health.

“We have more than 30 education, health, employment and technology workshops, training programmes in coordination with National Institute of Entrepreneurs. These are backed up by more than 125 kilometres (77 miles) of fibre optics with a collective (strength) of 100gb,” said Carlos Slim Domit, chairman of America Movil and the son of the world’s second richest man, according to Forbes magazine.

This is the third annual event of its kind and brings together cutting-edge technology to the delight of many in the capital.

“It gives you various ideas, it opens your horizons in accordance to what you want to achieve in the future. I think that this is perfect,” said local resident, Irvin Rojas.

In recent years, internet adoption has increased in Mexico but the country still lags behind other countries in reducing its digital divide and national access to online services.

A 2014 OECD study into internet connection showed that Mexico lags well behind almost all major countries in terms of internet access at just 30.7%, compared to 37.8% for Brazil and more than 70% in neighbouring United States.