Cablecos to challenge internet provision ban?

1 May 2012

A number of Uruguayan cable companies are considering the possibility of taking legal action against the government to challenge the ban on the provision of broadband services by cable network operators, NexTV Latam reports, citing local newspaper El Pais. At present, cable TV operators are not permitted to provide broadband internet services in the country, as state-owned telco Antel holds a monopoly on the supply of internet access using fixed networks. According to the report, Horacio Rodriguez, president of Camara Uruguaya de Television para Abonados, said that the pay-TV organisation had received comments from companies regarding the possibility of starting legal action against the government, stating that the position ‘affects the future viability of companies themselves and the future of the sector.’ He added that 15 internet service licence requests from cable TV companies are still pending at telecoms regulator Unidad Reguladora de Servicios de Comunicaciones (URSEC). Subsecretary of Industry, Edgardo Ortuno, reportedly responded that the government is not planning to review its position on the issue. In March this year CommsUpdate reported that URSEC had ordered Claro Uruguay, a wholly-owned unit of Mexico’s America Movil (AM), to stop providing fibre-optic internet access, or face a number of penalties, including the withdrawal of its operating licence.