Mexico City – Mexico City's government has installed the first two of 25 planned kiosks that will allow residents to download music, e-books and videos at affordable prices.
The two digital media stations were inaugurated on Wednesday at the Pino Suarez Metro station's cybercenter by Historic Downtown Trust officials Alejandra Moreno Toscano and Inti Muñoz Santini.
The two officials later went to Nuevo Volador Plaza, located at the intersections of Pino Suarez and Republica de Uruguay streets, where they inaugurated the second kiosk.
The Federal District's government wants to provide residents who lack credit cards and personal computers with an alternative way to download digital content at a low cost.
The kiosks will be placed at shopping centers around the city, with most of the units being installed downtown, to provide access to digital materials to low-income people.
The Metro cybercenters at the Balderas, Zocalo, Bellas Artes and Hidalgo stations, among others, will provide downloading services via the long-distance education project launched by the Mexico City Education Secretariat.
The project will benefit hundreds of thousands of people who will be able to obtain quality legal content, the officials said.
"This system is a response to the need to create alternatives to a problem the city has and that has to do with the consumption of digital cultural content," Muñoz Santini said.
The project was inspired by Brazil's "Crea tu Mundo" (Create Your World) initiative, which was rolled out by Brazilian digital content provider Phone Station, and is designed to offer access to cultural materials at a competitive price and protect intellectual property rights, Mexican officials said.
Street vendors sell pirated goods at stalls across Mexico City, where even police officers obtain music and movies.
A large segment of the capital's population lives in low-income households and the project may encourage them to acquire digital materials legally, Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said earlier this year.
The downloading kiosks will soon be installed all around Mexico City, offering a catalog of 350,000 songs, 70,000 ringtones for cell phones, 20,000 audio books and 20,000 videos, Phone Station CEO Marco Bissi said.
"For a city in the vanguard, vanguard solutions," Bissi said, adding that one free download would be provided weekly.
Downloading materials at the kiosks requires the use of a prepaid card and a storage device, such as a cell phone or a USB flash drive.