Electricity utility to use national grid for telecoms

10 Apr 2003

Chilean electricity provider Enersis [ENE.SN], a subsidiary of Spain’s largest power company Endesa [ELE.MC], is preparing to launch telecommunications services following approval from the CRA, the country’s anti-monopoly commission. The company has been granted permission to operate as a carrier’s carrier using powerline communication technology (PLC) and to offer services to end users, on the proviso that the services are operated via two separate subsidiaries. The ruling paves the way for the utility to apply to the telecoms regulator Subtel for the necessary operating licences. Once these have been acquired the company will step up talks with potential clients, including telcos and ISPs, with a view to launching services in the second half of this year.

Enersis hopes to follow the precedent set by its parent in the Spanish market, where it now has around 2,000 broadband customers using PLC access in Zaragoza. A pilot of the service was recently trialed successfully by Enersis’ subsidiary Chilectra in 50 Santiago households. The launch of PLC services is unlikely to trouble Chile’s existing telcos as the system is less efficient than ADSL due to the high number of interconnection points in the electricity grids. Despite this, Enersis is confident of success, claiming that the connection speed of PLC is comparable to Chile’s current ADSL services with the added bonus of a more wide-scale network than of that provided by the local telcos.

Source: CIT’s Datafile of Latin-American Telecommunications