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Colombia - Communications

Public telephones can be found all over the main towns and cities in Colombia. Most of them are card operated and the cards are widely available from many outlets. There are also coin operated public phones. Many people in urban areas have landline telephones installed in their homes, although the use of mobile phones is increasing. In some rural areas there are less than 10% of homes with telephone lines although it is estimated that around 90% of adults have a mobile phone.

There are several international mobile phone companies who have roaming agreements with Colombia, so most expats will be able to use their existing mobile phones, although it is advisable to purchase a mobile phone and sim card locally when you move to the country. This will work out to be a more cost effective alternative than using a phone from another country. Mobile phone coverage is relatively good in the larger urban areas but if you are travelling in rural areas it will be poor and intermittent.

Internet access is also increasing with many homes in the cities having access, although most of the towns in the country have internet cafes. At this time there is no restriction on accessing any internet site. The use of broadband is becoming more popular, although many people still use a basic dial up service. Many schools and colleges are equipped with up to date computer equipment and most students will receive lessons in information technology.

The country has a postal service which is not considered to be reliable. Most will use the services of courier companies rather than the post office if they are sending something important. Post offices as they are in other countries are unknown, but there are postal services based in other buildings such as hotels. Sending post to other countries can take several weeks and receiving post can take a similar length of time.

There a number of Spanish language newspapers which are published daily and weekly. Newspapers from other countries may be available but the supply of these will be intermittent and they will be at least several days old. There are literally hundreds of radio stations which broadcast mostly in Spanish, though English language stations can be obtained through the internet. Satellite and cable television services are available and some English language programmes are broadcast, usually as subtitled shows on Spanish channels, though some services may include English language channels from the United States.

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