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Informática Internacional combines with RACSA to provide inexpensive Internet access; other projects forthcoming

SAN JOSE - Informática Internacional, the parent company of the Internet portal, is once again joining with the national Internet provider Radiográfica Costarricense (RACSA) to offer dial-up services.

Through Informática, anyone in Costa Rica with a home computer can purchase unlimited access to the world-wide Internet for just $15 per month..

The new rates are part of an initiative called "Internet for the home" (Internet para el hog@r) in response to a call from Costa Rican President Miguel Angel Rodríguez to broaden domestic Internet access in order to promote education and consolidate the country in "the global society of information".

"The only requirement for a Costa Rican citizen is a copy of a telephone bill and his/her identity card; foreign nationals residing in the country have to present a copy of their residence permit or their passport, plus a valid credit card", said Javier Siu of Informática Internacional. An advance payment is also required.

Prospective users of this new, inexpensive "Internet for the home" service should bear in mind that the account can be accessed only from the telephone number registered. The new service is only for personal use. ISDN line users are not eligible. The user’s line also has to be compatible with the national telephone company’s caller id system.

And, of course, as with all other dial-up accounts, the "Internet for the home" user will also be billed by ICE, Costa Rica’s telephone company, for time on the phone (approximately 60˘ an hour for local calls).

Informática Internacional is also offering several other RACSA packages, including Cyberpack 10 (ten hours per month) at $9.90 per month; Cyberpack 15 (15 hours per month) at $15.00; Cyberpack 20 (20 hours per month ) at $20.00; Cyberpack 25 (25 hours per month) at $25.00; and the full package of 90 hours per month at $35.00. These services are accessible from any telephone in the country. Extra hours will be billed at additional rates.

All the above include an e-mail address; Cyberpack 25 comes with two addresses. For those requesting additional e-mail addresses, the price is $4 each per month.

It is hoped that the new packages will help stimulate the growth of Internet users in Costa Rica from the current figure of 800,000 to more than a million by the end of next year. Costa Rica has by far Central America’s greatest number of Internet users.

"We welcome the opportunity to provide Internet access in conjunction with RACSA, and to be able to offer these excellent rates", said Informática president Charles Stratford. "Informática Internacional has a solid reputation in the foreign community here in Costa Rica, and I’m certain we will receive many requests for dial-up accounts".

According to Mr. Stratford, there are many potential advantages to strategic alliances between smaller, private companies such as Informática and RACSA.

"Our value-added services can complement RACSA’s infrastructure in areas such as marketing, tourism and e-commerce, thus generating revenue for the entire country", he added.

RACSA and Informática Internacional are currently discussing several co-sponsored initiatives.

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