Mexico has approximately 42 million Internet users representing 36.5% of the population and is currently experiencing a huge surge in demand for broadband Internet services. Mexico is the country with the most Internet users among Spanish speaking counties in the western hemisphere, and in August 2005 Cisco Systems, the industry leader in Internet backbone routing equipment, said they see Mexico and countries in Latin America as the focal point for growth in coming years, with Mexico receiving the biggest chunk of their investments, identifying it as a hypergrowth market for equipment suppliers. Additionally looking at the historical growth for the period from 2001 to 2005 we see broadband Internet jump from 0.1 subscribers per hundred population to 2.2 subscribers per hundred population, a growth of 2100% in just five years.
Telmex has a de facto monopoly in providing (A)DSL connectivity. After being converted from a state monopoly to a private monopoly by President Carlos Salinas de Gortari in 1990 it took the Mexican Government 5 years to establish regulations in the Telecommunications Act and only then competitors were allowed to enter the Mexican telecommunication market, leaving Telmex' and its owner Carlos Slim enough time to extend their technological lead. Nevertheless, Mexico is lagging behind the world average in connection speeds.
Mexico is one of the few Latin American countries that has little or no Internet censorship. However, increasing threats and violence against media outlets, reporters, and bloggers related to drugs and drug trafficking leads to self-censorship by the press and by individuals.
Telmex started selling ISDN connections under the Prodigy Turbo brand name in the mid '90s. The service was then replaced for a few years with ADSL connections sold under the Prodigy Infinitum brand name. ADSL is now being offered under the Telmex brand name directly.
Recently there's been a big push towards fiber in the 3 big cities in Mexico (Mexico City, Guadalajara & Monterrey) and they offer up to 100 Mbit/s links, both synchronous and asynchronous. These services are being provided by:
Mexican law provides for freedom of speech and press, and the government generally respects these rights in practice. There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet or credible reports that the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms. Individuals and groups can engage in the expression of views via the Internet, including by e-mail. The OpenNet Initiative (ONI) found no evidence of Internet filtering in 2011. Mexico was classified as "partly free" in the Freedom on the Net 2011 report from Freedom House.
Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) exercise an increasing influence over media outlets and reporters, at times directly threatening individuals who published critical views of crime groups. As citizens increasingly use social media Web sites such as Twitter and Facebook to obtain and share drug-related news, violence against the users of these sites is rising dramatically. The threats and violence lead to self-censorship in many cases.
Two states introduced new restrictions on the use of social media. In August 2011 Veracruz officials arrested Gilberto Martinez Vera and Maria de Jesus Bravo Pagola for allegedly spreading rumors of violence on Twitter. They were released following protests from civil society groups, but the state created a new “public disturbance” offense for use in similar cases in the future. Similarly, the state of Tabasco outlawed telephone calls or social network postings that could provoke panic. Civil society groups feared that the laws could be used to curb freedom of expression online.
On September 24, 2011 police in Nuevo Laredo found the headless body of a female journalist who wrote on TCO activity as an online blogger under the pseudonym of “La Nena de Laredo” (“Laredo Girl”). Two other Nuevo Laredo-based bloggers were allegedly tortured and killed by TCOs in September and November, again in retaliation for posting comments on the Internet about local drug cartels.
In May 2009, the Mexican Federal Electoral Institute (IFE), asked YouTube to remove a parody of Fidel Herrera, governor of the state of Veracruz. Negative advertising in political campaigns is prohibited by present law, although the video appears to be made by a regular citizen which would make it legal. It was the first time a Mexican institution intervened directly with the Internet.
In 2014 the Mexican government proposed the new Telecommunication Law which if an approved will seriously cripple the right of users to have free uncensored internet in similar ways to the SOPA and ACTA laws. This initiative has been received with public outrage.
^ abcd"Mexico country report", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. Department of State, June 22, 2012
^"Summarized global Internet filtering data spreadsheet", OpenNet Initiative, 29 October 2012, the OpenNet Initiative is a collaborative partnership of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto; the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University; and the SecDev Group, Ottawa
^ ab"Mexico", Freedom on the Net 2011, Freedom House, January 18, 2012