Lagging digital music sales in Latin America have been blamed in part on low levels of broadband penetration in the home. But broadband connections in Mexico increased by 56% in Mexico last year, according to a study by consulting and research firm Select.

Tech news site Aliado Digital reports that the increase was attributed to broadband being offered together with TV or phone services, as well as a lowering of rates on such services.

The granting of credits to buy computers in Mexico also fueled growth in broadband connections, according to the study. Broadband is expected to grow by 36% this year due to new rate reductions.

Reuters reports a nearly identical trend in Colombia, with the country's telecom regulator announcing this week that Internet subscriptions went up 55.6% in 2007 to 1.38 million in 2007. Nearly 83% of the subscribers were residential and slightly over 16% were businesses. The vast majority are connected via DSL, cable or wireless, though at speeds lower than the U.S. (200-300 kilobites per second compared to 768 kbps for residential DSL in the U.S.)

The Colombian state body put the country at seventh in Latin America in terms of subscribers, after Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico, Brazil and Venezuela.