Paraguay’s telecoms regulator Conatel has awarded a USD1.75 million grant to fixed line operator Copaco for the deployment of internet services in rural areas, BNamericas reports citing local newspaper ABC Color. The grant is being offered under the country’s universal service fund, which provides subsidies to telcos to help them expand their networks to less cost-effective rural areas. Meanwhile, the government says Copaco is taking part in negotiations aimed at ending its monopoly in the wholesale internet access market. The country’s dominant wireline carrier is discussing liberalisation with Conatel, the country’s internet users association and private internet providers. Analysts say that Copaco’s monopoly in the internet sector is behind the low penetration of internet services.