Uruguay’s President Luis Lacalle Pou has signed Law 20,075, effectively allowing cable TV operators to apply for a licence to provide fixed broadband services from 1 January 2023, reports DPL News. The legislation amends Article 56 of the Law on Audiovisual Communication Services which barred cablecos from providing internet, phone and data transmission services to prevent cross-ownership. The move will enable other companies to compete with state-owned national telecoms operator Antel, which was previously the only operator permitted to supply broadband services over fixed telecoms networks. However, the amendment excludes operators providing TV services via satellite.
The development comes after the Regulatory Unit of Communications Services (Unidad Reguladora de Servicios de Comunicaciones, URSEC) authorised five cable operators to offer broadband internet services in June. Cable Montevideo (Montecable), Tractoral (TCC), Korfield, Praimar and Riselco (Nuevo Siglo) were permitted to offer broadband to consumers after filing a legal action challenging the constitutionality of Article 56. 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.