This is part three of a series about Internet in Mexico. Part I can be found here , and Part II here. In this article we deviate more from technical issues and explore the possibilities of what Mexico could become in the Internet world, if they played their cards right.
Mexico, because of its proximity to the USA depends greatly on the USA for many things. Unfortunately that proximity has fed a dependency and a certain lethargy towards developing their own infrastructure and they simply rely on even routing domestic Internet traffic to the USA and back to Mexico again.
With recent political developments in the USA, Mexico should wake up and recognize an opportunity. Although the US Government seeks to have a method to “shut down” the Internet , Mexico could profit by grooming itself as “near enough” country to offer co-location and data services as Canada does presently. Unfortunately, while Mexico still relies on sending its’ traffic to USA backbone providers and does not establish its’ own independent routes to key places such as Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Europe, Mexico will always remain 20 years behind the times and never make an attractive alternative. Telmex is a major Monopoly and has clearly been a major driving force in creating the richest man in the world, Carlos Slim. It is not as if they should at least not recognize the opportunity, especially in light of increased telephone competition in Mexico, which will ultimate result in their decreased market share in Telephony. I am sure that Telmex is aware by now that they can not continue to stifle competition as they have done for so many years, and that the end of the monopoly is near. Not to mention those contracts with customers although legal continue to gouge a customer if their contract is not met. The competition in many cases provides month to month local services with no contracts, and no penalties.
Also to aggregate the problem is price gouging, where providers often charge more than the going rate than in other countries. For instance, in Mexico the retail mark-up is higher than in the USA and overhead such as rent and salaries are lower! Mexico has to get away from this thinking that raising prices is a way to offset running a shoddy business. Of all the companies I thought I would never praise, I do thank WalMart for helping teach this lesson in Mexico. Unfortunately it is too little too late and WalMart will certainly put an end to small retailers in Mexico as they have done in the USA, and elsewhere.
I challenge those in power to make Mexico a more attractive place, for Mexico to locate its own servers , and to attract business from abroad that wants to be close to the USA Internet Backbone, but not necessarily in the USA. This can only be accomplished by spending the investment. Clearly by the USA’s continued intention to have the ability to “close down the Internet” with a Presidential order, the USSA looses a lot of attractiveness for data an co-location. Under the present circumstances if that happened, it appears to me , that there would be no roiute to anywhere else even domestically in many cases, in Mexico.
THE TIME IS NOW!