Throughout the last 10 years or so we have seen major changes in telecommunications throughout Costa Rica. The demand for good communications through the use of phones, cell phones, and the Internet have changed immensely. This demand was created by the government for the people, local and foreign industry, and the people both living here and those moving into the area. Tourism also has had an impact as well because vacationers have to be connected.
In 2003 there were very few options for Internet access and it was difficult to acquire. ICE and RACSA were the controlling government monopoly on all forms of digital and analog communication. In the event you chose satellite internet access you still had to pay dues to one or both of those entities. Originally internet access was only available by the use of a modem and it was very expensive. You had to pay ICE for the use of the phone line per minute and RACSA for the use of the internet. As of four years ago the government of Costa Rica assigned a group of people to assist with breaking the monopoly apart and allowing private parties to compete in the telecommunication business. This group is called SUTEL (Superintendencia de Telecomunicaciones de Costa Rica). They now control the majority of this vast market.
With the introduction of an open market the industry is changing at an amazing rate. Residential clients can now purchase service up to 10mbps for around $100. 3G phone service allows speeds up to 2mbps. Remote areas can usually obtain Wireless internet or Wimax from providers such as ICE or CRWIFI Ltda.