IPTV News reports that the Argentine IP Telephony Association (CATIP), which represents competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs), has demanded that the government grants pay-TV licences to enable the local IPTV market to develop. Should such licences be awarded, companies such as Iplan, which operates a 50,000 line FTTx network, as well as independent telephone cooperatives such as Cotel and Cotelcam would all be interested in deploying IPTV. Meanwhile, the Cable TV Operators’ Association (ATVC) argues that if telcos were allowed to offer IPTV, then this would threaten Argentina’s small cable TV operators. CATIP is arguing that Grupo Clarin, which controls over 50% of the cable TV market, is limiting both small CLECs and rural independent local exchange carriers (ILECs).
CATIP is requesting a new regulatory framework that enables all Argentine citizens to access TV content through any physical means. At present, telcos are currently not allowed to offer pay-TV under Section 45 of the Broadcasting Law, which prevents utility companies, including telcos, from receiving TV licences. However, the Telecommunications Act does not prevent TV companies from offering telephony services.