Updated June, 20th 2023
A new high-speed internet option is on the horizon! Elon Musk’s satellite connectivity company, Starlink, is set to launch its services in Costa Rica. The company plans to make its service available in Costa Rica during the third quarter of this year. Starlink boasts a network of over 3,000 satellites which allows for incredible satellite internet service. Customers can expect to enjoy a 500 Megabits per second (Mbps) connection, enabling activities like online streaming, uninterrupted Zoom calls, gaming and so much more.
Starlink offers various packages catering to individuals, businesses, aircraft, and boats. Prices will range from $110 to $500 per month, depending on the selected plan and speed. The basic home kit includes an antenna with automatic motorized orientation, a router, and cabling. While the official prices for Costa Rica have yet to be established, they are anticipated to be announced shortly. With the arrival of Starlink, Costa Ricans and expats alike can look forward to improved internet connectivity options, even in areas with challenging access.
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 Costa Rican 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 the 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 the Internet service providers are 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 Liberty, 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 of high-speed internet in Costa Rica. I need the internet for my business and well, posting blogs like this. My provider is Liberty. 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. I placed the order and 2 days later I had 2 different techs at the house setting it all up.
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 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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