Mexico plans to invest about 30 billion pesos ($1.5 billion) to boost internet connectivity, especially in rural areas, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has said.

“You can’t even talk on a cellphone, let alone (use) the internet (outside cities),” he told a news conference. He said millions of Mexicans still do not have access to mobile coverage or the internet and new investment is needed.

About 66% of Mexican households have internet access, according to the latest official data from the IFT, the country’s telecommunications regulator.

This week, the IFT said that one in five indigenous people, who largely live in remote areas, still lack access to mobile service technology, around 2 million people, according to a Reuters report. .

In 2016, the government commissioned telecommunications company Altan Redes to develop a nationwide wholesale mobile network that promised 92.2% coverage by January 2024, a deadline that was later extended to 2028.

However, the company filed for bankruptcy last year, prompting the state to bail it out and become its majority shareholder.

Last month, Mexico’s president said taking control of the shared network would help secure internet access in all cities and provide free Wi-Fi in public spaces.

“[Altan] has come 70% of the way with the construction of the general Wi-Fi network, but it has not reached the last mile. It was a start, and we’re going to amplify it,” the president said Wednesday.

He promised government grants to help people afford the internet. “We want everyone, especially the most remote and especially students, to have access to the Internet.”