Quito-based electricity provider Empresa Electrica Quito (EEQ) plans to launch broadband services using power line communications (PLC) technology in the second quarter of this year, reports BNamericas. Company spokesman Pablo Echeverria is quoted as saying that the utility expects to sign up around 50,000 users in the first year of operations. Echeverria added that EEQ requested a broadband licence from Ecuador’s telecoms supervisory body Suptel last year and expects to be issued with the concession by May. The firm hopes to offer high speed internet access, VoIP telephony and IPTV services over a PLC network covering 70% of its 700,000 power users in Quito within five years, before gradually expanding to surrounding rural areas.
In June 2007 EEQ signed an agreement with Ecuador’s government to test broadband over electricity lines, alongside another utility, Cuenca-based Centrosur. The previous March, Canadian firm Trimax completed a pilot PLC programme in partnership with Ecuadorian power company Emelazogues in the town of Azogues.