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Internet usage in the Dominican Republic – statistics & facts

Since the internet was first introduced in the Dominican Republic over 25 years ago, its infrastructure has considerably developed, and its adoption has steadily grown throughout the territory. With more than eight million people on the web in 2021, the country is home to the largest online population in the Caribbean. Although most of web traffic is still generated through desktops, mobile phones are playing an ever-increasing role as users demand greater flexibility and accessibility to this service, regardless of time and place.

To meet this demand, government initiatives have recently sought to expand and strengthen wireless connectivity in the Dominican Republic. In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated the timeliness of establishing a resilient infrastructure capable of maintaining connection quality in the face of drastic changes in consumption.

A new era of shopping and socializing

If anything, 2020 was characterized by its disruptive nature. For many Dominicans this meant relying heavily on the internet to maintain a sense of normalcy during periods of mobility restrictions and lockdowns. Among the activities that moved to the screens was shopping. According to a survey, online stores were the main websites used during the first months of the health crisis in the Caribbean country, with almost two-thirds of respondents accessing them. Similarly, people had to adapt the way they socialized, resulting in an intensified use of social networks as a means of maintaining human connection during isolation. However, throughout the year, discrepancies in social media usage arose between the preferred modes of access. While desktop users turned mainly to YouTube, probably attracted among other things by a larger screen format, Facebook was by far the most visited social network by mobile users.

The remote work and education (r)evolution

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the importance of internet connectivity across the Dominican Republic had been underestimated as a commodity rather than a necessity. Yet almost overnight, businesses and educational institutions were confronted with the challenges of pursuing their activities online, many without the necessary infrastructure to do so. Even so, innovation and resilience shined through. For education, teachers and students turned to unconventional tools, such as WhatsApp, to ensure pedagogical continuity. Given its high prevalence in the country, the social media platform has been the main online study method among Dominican students, as well as the main online tool for educators to share lessons, create study groups, or connect with their students. Although the government plans a return to the classroom in 2021, post-pandemic education promises to look very different than it used to.

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Internet usage in the Dominican Republic

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