The government will invest 20 billion Mexican pesos — about $1 billion — in bringing banking and internet access to impoverished areas of the country, Mexican President Andrés Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) said Monday, Jan. 6.

Speaking at his traditional morning press conference, AMLO said that the Bank of Wellbeing project will require an investment of 10 billion pesos to open 2,700 small bank branches across the country by 2021.

“It needs to be taken into account that of the 2,500 towns (in the country), there are bank branches only in approximately 1,000 of them,” he said.

“That is to say that in 1,500 towns, there are no bank branches.”

The Bank of Wellbeing is a new institution intended to provide banking resources for the nation’s poorest, many of whom, due to their remote locations, often face three to four hour journeys just to reach a financial institution.

The Mexican government will invest an additional 10 billion pesos in a telecommunications company that will bring internet access and phone service to remote areas of the country, AMLO said.

The president said that 3 billion pesos have already been allocated to the new company, which could complete its project by 2022.

According to figures from the López Obrador government, 80 percent of Mexican territory does not have adequate telecommunications services.

The president’s campaign promises included increasing internet access across the country.

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