Image: IFAM

Grupo ICE, Costa Rica’s state electricity and telco provider, is partnering with municipal development association IFAM to create smart neighbourhoods.

Grupo ICE and the Instituto de Fomento y Asesoría Municipal (IFAM) government agency have signed a framework cooperation agreement under which they will support local governments in the creation of smart neighbourhoods – or ‘smart cantons’ as they are termed – with modernised services that transform the lives of the residents.

The main areas of focus are the delivery of smart metering for electricity and water, energy efficiency and ultra-broadband connectivity.

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Other areas include energy audits for public buildings, electric vehicle charging points in strategic locations, LED public lighting along with WiFi in public spaces, security cameras and other ‘smart’ solutions.

There also will be a focus on the expansion of real estate and urban development with business schemes in electricity, telecommunications and ICTs.

“This agreement represents a fundamental synergy to promote the digitalisation of the municipal system,” says Irene Cañas executive president of ICE.

“Taking advantage of technological tools enable us to optimize the available resources and facilitate improvement in the lives of citizens by generating greater well-being.”

Support will include advice, consultancy and the development of technologies and services.

Marcela Guerrero, executive president of IFAM, adds: “With Grupo ICE we seek that citizens have universal access to technology in their cantons. We live in a connected world and must adhere to a democratic and public access principle.”

The two organisations approved a strategy in 2019 to become a benchmark for digital transformation and the development of innovative and timely solutions in energy, ICT and engineering.

Grupo ICE companies that will participate include the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) and the National Power and Light Company (CNFL).