New state-run telco created by government

10 Sep 2003

The Venezuelan government has set up a new telecoms company to be run by the state, with the aim of loosening the private sector’s grip on the telecoms sector. The new company, which will be called Corporacion Venezolana de Telecomunicaciones (Covetel), will be run by the Communications and Information Minister Jesse Chacon. According to Chacon, the provision of state telephone and internet services is not a priority, and first he hopes to create a ‘cultural television channel’ through the operator. The state already runs one pro-government TV channel, but claims that the four private broadcasters – Globovision, Venevision, RCTV and Televen – have too much dominance, and have often criticised the populist rule. When Covetel begins providing telecoms services, it will be faced with competition from dominant operator Verizon Communications-owned CANTV, Telcel, Digicel, Entel Chile, Genesis Telecom and Intercable.