Uruguay’s Regulatory Unit of Communications Services (Unidad Reguladora de Servicios de Comunicaciones, URSEC) has authorised five cable operators to offer broadband internet services, reports BNamericas. Cable Montevideo (Montecable), Tractoral (TCC), Korfield, Praimar and Riselco (Nuevo Siglo) are now permitted to offer broadband to consumers after filing a legal action challenging the constitutionality of Article 56 of the Law on Audiovisual Communication Services, which prohibits TV operators from also offering voice and data transmission services. In 2016 the Supreme Court of Justice ruled in their favour but the article remained in place due to lack of political support for its elimination.
Until now, state-owned national telecoms operator Antel was the only firm permitted to offer fixed broadband services, but an unnamed ‘local expert’ told BNamericas that URSEC’s move to authorise the five cablecos could pave the way for the elimination of Article 56 as part of the national accountability project, which is set to be analysed by congress at the end of June. The decision to only give authorisation to the firms that had taken legal action will create a market asymmetry that could put pressure on lawmakers to level the playing field, the expert said.