On October 4th, 2023, visitors to Cancun’s popular Playa Delfines beach experienced a groundbreaking change – the introduction of free public high-speed internet.
This initiative, orchestrated through a collaboration between the Quintana Roo Secretary of Tourism and the internet service provider company GigNet, involved the installation of a broadband interface at Playa Delfines.
This interface featured four access points, each capable of serving 200 devices within a 50-meter range.
Moreover, a second access point was installed in Cancun’s Kilometer Zero area. While not as popular as Delfines Beach, this location is a beloved spot for athletes and families, offering an outdoor gym, a family-friendly area with a playground, workout facilities, and lockers.
Considering Cancun’s less-than-stellar history with public internet accessibility, this is a game changer.
But the story doesn’t end here, as GigNet now aims to extend its services to the municipalities of Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres, and Cozumel.
@erikacriss2312 Cancún tiene la primera Playa con internet de alta calidad, es libre h lo mejor no te pide ningun requisito. 🌐 Así que si visitas Playa Delfines cuentame que tal te fue con el internet. ✅ #playadelfines #cancun #zonahoteleracancunmexico #wifi #wifigratis #playa #cancunmexico #playadelfinescancun #playaelmirador #kilometro0 ♬ Cool Kids (our sped up version) – Echosmith
As the popularity of these Mexican Caribbean destinations continues to grow, let’s explore what this development means for tourists and when you can expect to enjoy that sweet WiFi bliss on your next adventure.
Internet In The Mexican Caribbean – Then vs. Now
In the past, when the internet was pretty much for checking your AOL email and looking up “kayaking” videos, public internet wasn’t really a concern. In fact, it wasn’t even a thing.
But fast forward to today, where internet connectivity, especially for travelers, is crucial.
It’s not only the best way to take those envy-inducing selfies at the beach and stay connected with your loved ones, but with the advent of online banking, bad connectivity can make or break your vacation.
And historically, public internet in the Mexican Caribbean has been, well, not great. In 2016, Cancun attempted to install 220 public WiFi hotspots.
While the intentions were noble, only 9 of them worked – barely – prompting a GigNet executive to compare the lackluster connectivity to that of places like Uganda or Kazakhstan.
Yes, most resorts in the Mexican Caribbean nowadays offer free WiFi, but it’s not always great. Sometimes you need to access it from the lobby for decent connectivity, and sometimes you even need to pay for better service.
And, when you venture out of your resort, you still need to buy a prepaid SIM card at a convenience store.
If you’re thinking that the installation of only two WiFi antennas at Delfines and the Kilometer Zero doesn’t really solve the problem, you’d be right.
However, the good news is that this development is just the beginning, as GigNet’s initiative is much more ambitious.
The Mexican Caribbean’s Digital Transformation
In the wake of introducing public high-speed WiFi in Cancun, GigNet aims to broaden its services across the region, responding to the growing popularity of destinations like Playa del Carmen and Tulum.
These towns have not only witnessed a substantial increase in tourism but have also emerged as top choices for digital nomads in Mexico. For them, internet connectivity is not just a luxury – it’s a necessity.
GigNet’s plan involves testing two locations in Tulum by year-end. One module will be positioned downtown, near the Palacio Municipal, while the other will be in the hotel zone.
Following Tulum, the expansion will continue to Playa del Carmen, at the iconic Quinta Avenida, although the exact number of modules and their specific locations are still in the planning stage.
Looking ahead to next year, GigNet has its sights set on Isla Mujeres, with two modules planned – one on the island and another in the continental area, also known as Costa Mujeres. Additionally, a module will be installed in Cozumel.
Beyond the mission to enhance internet access for both tourists and locals, the company’s ambitious plans intend to transform the Mexican Caribbean into a thriving tech hub.
With their ‘Silicon Maya’ initiative, in collaboration with the Mexican Association of Real Estate Professionals, GigNet aims to attract investors, entrepreneurs, and innovators, by offering unparalleled high-speed broadband services in the region.
Looks like the days of dealing with lousy internet in the Mexican Caribbean are about to be a thing of the past — something which locals, tourists, and digital nomads can all cheer about.
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