People living and working in remote communities often have limited access to health care, emergency services and education. Many of Teck’s operations are located near remote communities, including our Carmen de Andacollo Operations, which are next to Andacollo, a small Chilean community located 470 kilometres north of Santiago. As part of our ongoing community development work, Teck identified that providing access to health, educational and emergency services through the internet could help to improve the quality of life of people in Andacollo.
Teck worked closely with the Andacollo municipality to develop Andacollo Conectado, a project to connect local residents with public services through a community intranet — a website that provides password-protected access to services and resources. Teck provided financing, training and support for Andacollo Conectado, and after it launched in June 2013, we handed over administration to the municipality.
Rural schools can now access online learning tools and have permanent communication with public and emergency services. Hospitals can provide electronic consultations and specialized medical treatment in the nearby community of Coquimbo. Citizen journalists can upload and share stories. Families can contact their loved ones in other parts of Chile or overseas.
Andacollo Conectado also provides community members with another means to contact our company.
In addition to the community intranet, Teck and the Andacollo municipality installed several computers with internet access in regional communities and set up an open Wi-Fi network. Thanks to Andacollo Conectado, over 10,000 people now have access to the internet.